I suppose you could say it’s *trying* to be spring. Trees are budding, pollen is falling, the daffodils are already past their prime, yet winter continues to noodle us with bouts of snow and freezing temps. Enough, already!
It’s not that I’m in any hurry to bring on the humidity, mosquitoes and dripping heat – it’s just that my bun in the oven is getting too big for any and all winter coats to effectively cover and I need to transition to my maxi skirts and wrap dresses STAT. Temperatures are expected into the 70s next week – here’s hoping!
This will be a season of major changes, but my wish is to continue to cook and blog as much as I can, to keep up on all the tasty memories. If you haven’t yet, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@asowa) for more live feeding.
Breakfast bars are a great way to believe you are eating healthy, but really they are just sugary, chewy, delicious pastries you may or may not eat in the morning.
The combination of raspberries and oat crumble will remind you of all your favorite fruit pies: thick, bubbling syrup and toasted toppings. I baked these and ate them for a straight week, often multiples times per day. The corner pieces are my favorites because they are the most crunchy. Don’t be afraid to bake longer than it calls for if you like more solid crusts – the raspberries can make the crust soft in the middle.
One last piece of advise – keep the crust layer thick to again prevent a soggy bottom – mine was a little spare in patches, but it didn’t affect the flavor or my enjoyment of them.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen (and her trip to North Carolina!).
Raspberry Breakfast Bars
For the crust and crumb:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the raspberry filling:
- 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 pound raspberries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen – try other fruits, too! Peach, blackberry, blueberry…)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Make the crust and crumb: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends for easy bar-removal. Butter the parchment or spray with cooking spray.
Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.
Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan (note, you want it thick and packed hard). The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes (or longer, if necessary). Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.
Make the raspberry filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the raspberries, lemon juice and butter and toss gently until the raspberries are evenly coated.
Assemble and bake the bars: Spread the raspberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown, firmed and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days – I found that the fridge kept them nice and firm and they lasted longer.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo