Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blackberry Breakfast Bars

Let's say you aren't the type to get up early on a Saturday morning and drive an hour to stand in sweltering heat dodging flying beetles as you try to pick gigantic blackberries. You are in luck! At some stores you can find small half-pint containers of blackberries for just a dollar. It's much cheaper to pick them yourself (at $2.50 a pound) but you do have to think about the time and effort that goes into said activity. After our experience last Saturday, I'm going to have to think about it for next year :)

One thing that's weighing in favor of the UPick farm was the size of the berries. As big as my thumb! So big, in fact, that when I made raspberry breakfast bars with blackberries, I had to cut each one in half or thirds so the bars wouldn't be too chunky.

But I digress. The point is, even if you aren't a UPick fruit kind of person, you can make these bars with raspberries OR blackberries. And you should. As soon as possible. Because they are delicious!

Blackberry Crumb Breakfast Bars

Adapted from a recipe posted by Smitten Kitchen blog, which she adapted from 
Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Note, these bars aren't particularly healthy but they're probably better for you than Pop-Tarts. They are kind of similar, with a crust on the bottom (with oatmeal!) and a crunchy crumbly topping.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
The Filling (made with raspberries or blackberries. I wonder how it would taste with peaches? Someone try it and let me know!)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound blackberries (I used about 3 1/2 cups  because I don't own a kitchen scale.)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Make the crust and crumb
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan. Deb from Smitten Kitchen suggests using parchment paper to line the pan and buttering that as well. I didn't have parchment paper so I went without. It worked fine.

2. Put flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse until it's crumbly.

3. Put 1 1/2 cups of the crumbly mixture in a separate bowl (this will be the topping.) Pour the rest in the 9x13 pan and press down. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

4. Mix cinnamon, lemon zest, flour and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Add blackberries, butter and lemon juice. Toss until combined.

5. Pour filling on top of crust, spreading it evenly around.

6. Top with the crumb mixture you set aside earlier. Pop in the oven for 35-45 minutes, rotating every 15 minutes. Let it cool on a wire rack completely before you try to cut it.

Serve with homemade ice cream for dessert!  Or for breakfast. Get in that calcium early!
I packaged half the batch in freezer paper and have been taking them for a mid-afternoon snack. They thaw out by lunchtime.

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