Baked Sunday Mornings: Jamming with a breakfast bar

[I] have plenty on my plate, but I’ve enjoyed adding trying out the recipes from Baked Sunday Mornings to my “to-do” baking schedule. It gives me a chance to attempt things I might not have otherwise and share with fellow bakers the results! While I cannot commit to making each recipe on the roster, I try to do it as much as I can (any excuse to bake).

I thought about making the Baked Brown Cow ice cream float (see recipe here on this Sunday’s recipe selection, but I did a little noodling through “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito (2008), and ran across a recipe I wanted to try that wasn’t on the recipe schedule. So I went “rogue.”

The Raspberry Crumb Breakfast Bar recipe was up my alley in so many ways, a combination of a crisp/crumble in the form of a filled cookie bar, beginning with an oat-y crust that included rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest.

And lots of butter. All was blended together using the convenience of the magical food processor to create a semi-dry concoction, resembling that of lemon bar or graham cracker crusts.

This was pressed into a buttered and parchment-lined glass oblong baking pan (I love baking in glass). It was then par-baked until lightly golden.

For the filling, I went rogue again. I had a few bags of mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries) in the freezer for smoothies, and decided to have a mult-berry blend filling for my bars, rather than just raspberries.

The berries were tossed with a blend of flour, brown sugar and cinnamon (I also added some salt), along with some lemon juice and melted butter.

The par-baked and cooled crust was then covered with the berries. A reserved cup of the crust/crumb mixture was sprinkled over top.

I baked the bars the full 40 minutes recommended to make sure the berries had cooked adequately to bubbling and the crust was browned. Between the oatmeal crust and berry filling, the aroma filling the kitchen was heavenly.

[I] let the bars chill (and even refrigerated them a bit), so that they would be easier to cut. They came out of the pan beautifully and cut cleanly — just enough fruit filling but not too much to make them runny or messy. These bars are so delicious — the buttery oatmeal cookie-like crust and topping, the berries that have cooked just enough to make them like fresh jam, the bright notes of lemon zest and juice throughout. Whether for breakfast or anytime of day, they are just right, like a portable fruit crisp. Berry season is approaching!

Raspberry Crumb Bar
From “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” by Matt Lewis and Rnato Poliafito (2008)
Makes 24 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
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Make the crust and crumb:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 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. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.

Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in the a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.

Remove 1 cup of the mixture and set aside. Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. 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 use your hands to 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 1 cup crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and 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 of up to 2 days.

Blogger’s Note: I used a combination of frozen berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries) and added a pinch of salt to the filling.

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