Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blackberry Crumb Bars

Ok, so clearly I can't resist baking things with all of the fresh fruit that is out in abundance right now.  I go to the store and see the beautiful berries sitting there, gleaming like precious jewels and this overwhelming desire to bake with them comes over me.  Please rest assured (not that you really take the time to worry one way or the other) but we do eat plenty of fresh fruit at our house and don't just sacrifice them all into sugary baked goods.  I just know that this season is short and when its cold and snowing, I'll look longingly at recipes for blueberry pie or, say, these blackberry bars, just full of ripe fresh blackberries, and wish for a piece.  I'm enjoying indulging right now, for sure! And, hopefully, my neighbors and relatives are enjoying the fruits of my labors as well as we can't possibly eat all of these treats ourselves. :)

Blackberries were on sale recently and they were sweet and the size of quarters-- just asking to be baked into something special.  These blackberry crumb bars were just the thing. A generous helping of blackberries is sandwiched between a spongy coffee cake and a brown sugar crumb topping and baked.  Its perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning or wrapped up into squares and taken on a picnic.

Blackberry Crumb Bars

6 tbs. unsalted butter melted, and 1/2 cup (1 stick) room temperature
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 containers (5 ounces each) blackberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Grease and flour pan, tapping out excess.

2.  Make topping:  In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt; add 1 cup flour and mix with a fork until large moist crumbs form. Refrigerate topping until ready to use.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt; set aside.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat room-temperature butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Reduce speed to low, mix in flour mixture. Spread batter evenly in pan; sprinkle with blackberries, then chilled topping.

4. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes.  Cool completely in pan.  Cut into squares.

Adapted from Martha Stewart


  1. Ryan,
    I have a confession to make,I haven't baked yet just as I told you and just as I planned (for my son's birthday remember?)
    But this blackberry crumb cakes would be a perfect start... haha..
    enjoy the rest of the summer!

  2. We have luscious berries in the market now and this sounds like a delicious way to use them.


  3. I love blackberries! These bars look scrumptious but I'm a sucker for any coffee cake. I'm on the lookout for some blackberries. Oh and by the way, I wish I were your neighbor :)

  4. Yum! This looks delicious, and I just picked up some blackberries today. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  5. Precious jewels indeed! Good grief I want one of those right now! Seriously Ryan... I'm going to pick up a few half pints of blackberries from the farmer's market on Saturday. Can't...resist!!!!!

  6. These look SO beautiful - and delicious. As soon as I can face turning on the oven (in the heatwave!) I'm making these!
    Mary x

  7. I have a blueberry crumb bar recipe that is similar but doesn't have powdered sugar...that sounds like a great addition! I just had an idea about freezing these for those winter cravings, wonder how well they would freeze!?

  8. Don't forget to freeze some of those fresh berries so you can bake with them in the winter, Ryan! Your pictures are so pretty and your bars look wonderful. I have got to make these for my husband. I don't think he would mind a change from his blueberry scones.

  9. These are really lovely - if I could bear to turn on my oven this week, these would be on my list :-)

  10. I love your description of blackberries like precious jewels - that's exactly how I think of them. I have a bounty in the freezer for last year's pickings and making these bars - a lovely change from pie or crumble. Have a great weekend!

  11. Oh, these look incredible!! Perfect, delicious seasonal dessert~

  12. Resist baking? What is this madness! Beautiful bars.

  13. Ryan, your bars looks scrumptious! I love Martha's recipe - perfect use of fresh blackberries. Ohhhh, how I wish I had a piece right now for breakfast! Hope you are having a great summer! xo

  14. This looks delicious! I'm having fun looking through your blog! If you find yourself with a plethora of blackberries some time, try out my Blackberry Vanilla Curd:


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