June 20, 2014

strawberry rhubarb crisp bars

strawberry rhubarb crisp bars | TWELFTH AVENUE

I just started drinking coffee two weeks ago. I know, right? My parents didn’t drink coffee when I was growing up, and I’ve always hated anything coffee flavored, so I never developed the habit. Well, that changed pretty drastically when Phil brought home a French press and a bag of Sisters Coffee dark roast a couple weeks ago. All it took was one mug of extra hot coffee with steamed almond milk (yeah, I have a milk steamer, I’m kind of a kitchen gadget nerd), and suddenly I’m head-over-heels in passionate love with coffee. For the record, I still hate anything coffee flavored. Some habits die hard.

strawberry rhubarb crisp bars | TWELFTH AVENUE

Speaking of things I’m passionately in love with, please meet Deb from Smitten Kitchen’s strawberry rhubarb crisp bars. Normally, I would never think to make this sort of baked good, but I had a few stalks of rhubarb in my CSA box that I didn’t know what to do with, and pretty much every recipe that came up under a “rhubarb recipe” google search was a riff on the strawberry/rhubarb combo, so I figured, why not?

Wellllllllll, they’re amazing. Especially when eaten for breakfast with a big glob of Greek yogurt on top. And coffee, because that’s what I drink now. The sugar/caffeine combo kind of gives me the jitters, but who doesn’t like a little morning buzz?

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars
(pulled pretty much verbatim from Smitten Kitchen)
makes 8 bars

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup plus up to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional, but helps firm up the filling)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
1 cup small-diced rhubarb (about 1 1/2 medium stalks)
1 cup small-diced strawberries

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place oats, 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar and salt in bottom of 8×8 inch baking pan and mix. Pour melted butter over and stir until clumps form. If the clumps feel soft or look overly damp, add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of flour. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture. Press the rest of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.

Spread half of the fruit over the crust. Sprinkle it evenly with cornstarch, then lemon juice and 1/2 Tablespoon of granulated sugar. Spread remaining fruit over the top and top with second 1/2 Tablespoon of sugar. Scatter reserved crumbs over the fruit and bake bars for 30 to 40 minutes until fruit is bubbly and crisp portion is golden and smells toasty and amazing.

Let cool in pan, either in the fridge or at room temperature, before cutting into 8 pieces. Store leftovers in the fridge.