This post is sponsored in conjunction with #SpringSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to help in the creation of the #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
Strawberry pie is one of those things that I will eat anytime I am out but I never make for myself. It's funny because I have no problem making apple or blueberry pie but I never find myself making a strawberry pie. I guess I feel like they are pretty good whenever I have them out and I just don't want to make them for myself.
It might be something about the glaze that the strawberries sit in. I've had some really thick and overly sweet ones and I've had some that taste like fresh strawberry and are amazing. I know which ones I prefer and those are the places I continue to frequent.
So when I came across a recipe for Strawberry Pie Bars I was totally intrigued. All the delicious strawberry flavor on a butter cookie crust that I could cut into pieces and only eat a bite or two if I wanted instead of pounding a giant piece of pie. It sounded like a great idea to me!
The pie bars are supposed to be baked in a baking dish but I chose to bake them in my Anolon Brownie Pan which is just a shallow 9 x 13 baking dish with awesome silicone grip handles. It's perfect for this type of dish because I can easily pull it out of the oven without ruining the dish and I knew the pie bars would be the perfect height for this pan.
The bottom crust is baked first and then the fresh strawberry filling is placed on top of it. Then a crumble is sprinkled on top and the entire thing is baked. It smelled so good while it was in the oven.
I could hardly wait to try it once it came out of the oven. I did allow it to cool then I cut the dish into bars which easily slid out of my Anolon baking pan. My husband and I each ate one and they were incredible. The crust is sweet and slightly crunchy while the filling is fruity and spiced and the crumble topping is just perfect.
My husband and I made quick work of our own bar and then split a second bar. I took them to work the next day and hoped that people would like them. I didn't have to worry, the entire pan was gone by 9am and I had 3 different people tell me how much they enjoyed them!
This is a great recipe that isn't too hard to make. It will be going on my list for recipes to make and take to parties because bar cookies are easy to transport and usually a big hit.
Pro Tips & Substitutions:
- If strawberries are in season where you live look for a U-Pick farm. Often times you can get strawberries for less than $1.00 per pound if you pick them yourself!
- You can substitute any berry in place of the strawberries or do a combination of berries.
- To make it easier to lift the bars out of the pan you can place parchment paper or foil on the bottom of the pan that hangs over the edges to help lift it out.
- If your topping isn't brown enough you can always use the broiler for 1-2 minutes at the end of baking to get the topping golden brown.
For the crust:
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- ½ c. brown sugar
- ½ c. granulated sugar
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 c. flour
- 1 t. salt
For the strawberry filling:
- 2 lb. strawberries, chopped
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 3 T. sugar
- ½ t. nutmeg
- ½ t. cinnamon
- 2 T. cornstarch
- 2 T. butter
For the topping:
- ¼ of the crust recipe
- ½ c. oats
- ½ c. chopped pecans
- 2 T. butter
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, and the granulated sugar.
- Add in the vanilla, flour, and salt and mix until well combined.
- Put ¾ of the crust mixture in the bottom of a shallow 9 x 13 pan. I used Anolon's brownie pan. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake in the oven to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Mix to combine.
- Sprinkle the strawberries with cornstarch and toss to coat.
- Melt the butter and pour over top of the strawberries. Gently toss to combine.
- Pour the strawberry mixture over top of the partially baked crust.
- In a medium bowl combine the remaining ¼ of the crust mixture with the oats, chopped pecans, and melted butter. Mix to combine.
- Sprinkle the topping evenly over the strawberries.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the strawberries are bubbling and the topping is browned.
- Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Cut into 24 pieces and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
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