3 months ago

Strawberry Crumble Bars

Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate shares a taste of spring with these delightful strawberry bars – perfect for breakfast, dessert and everything in between!

The unseasonably warm weather we had in February has me thinking about all of the spring produce that I can’t wait to cook with. Radishes, asparagus, artichokes, rhubarb, peas, lemons and strawberries. Oh, the possibilities!

The one problem? We live in Minnesota. Usually this isn’t a problem. I love living in Minnesota! It’s a great place to live. But as far as produce, we have months before those veggies are going to be popping up in our gardens!

Although local strawberries aren’t quite at their peak, I couldn’t help but pick up a big carton of them. I had big plans for these strawberries: Strawberry Crumble Bars.

Let’s just start by pointing out the obvious downfall of this recipe, which is that it involves three different components. Meaning three different bowls that we have to dirty and three sets of steps we have to follow. I know, it’s annoying. But for one, technically you can use the bowl that you mixed up the crust in for the crumble as well. It’s practically the same ingredients, just different proportions. No harm done and one less bowl to clean.

Can I just say these bars are 100% worth the extra steps? The crust and crumble topping are both so buttery and delicious and the strawberry filling is bursting with fresh strawberry flavor!

They’re the kind of bars that are really perfect any time of day. With your morning coffee. After lunch for a sweet treat. For your mid-afternoon snack. Or with ice cream as a late-night dessert. These bars will fit the bill for all of those scenarios. Believe me, I’ve tested them all out.

Strawberry Crumble Bars

Makes one 9×13” pan
Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients
For the crust:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt

For the strawberry layer:
3 cups cored & chopped strawberries, measured after chopping
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon zest

For the streusel topping:
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325 F.
  2. Line a 9×13 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on each side. Grease with butter or non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using an electric or hand-held mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined.
  4. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  5. Turn the mixer down to low and beat in the flour until combined.
  6. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes. While it is baking, make the strawberry layer and topping.
  7. To make the strawberry layer toss together the strawberries, cornstarch, sugar and lemon zest in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  8. To make the streusel topping, in a medium bowl stir together all the streusel ingredients using a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It will be crumbly and that’s okay.
  9. After the bottom layer is done baking, remove it from the oven.
  10. Carefully spoon the strawberry mixture over the shortbread base until it’s evenly covered. Then crumble the streusel layer over the strawberry layer.
  11. Bake for 50-55 minutes until the streusel topping begins to turn golden brown and you can see the strawberry layer bubbling underneath.
  12. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Tip: these will hold up best if you store them in the refrigerator. Enjoy!