This month our What's Baking challenge is hosted by Nichole of Cookaholic Wife . The challenge was to make some kind of bar. Since I bake a lot I knew this wouldn't be a problem for me. In fact, I had over 10 recipes saved for this challenge. However, they all went out the window when I received some rhubarb.
My friend Leslie at work has rhubarb growing in her yard and she graciously gives me a bunch of it each year. I love being able to cook and bake with it all summer long. When she handed it to me this year I had just purchased 2 pounds of strawberries and couldn't wait to get home and bake with them.
I went searching for strawberry rhubarb bars and boy did I find a recipe that looked delicious! When I went to make them I actually ended up switching it up a little bit and I added half strawberries and half blueberries to make Berry Rhubarb Bars.
To start I made a berry rhubarb jam. It gets really thick and smells delicious. I was a little worried about it being the filling in the cookie bars because I thought it was going to be a bit runny and wasn't sure how it would firm up.
Next I worked on the cookie base. I liked that it was made with granulated and brown sugar as well as different spices. It's then mixed with a lot of oats so it was like an oatmeal spice cookie and it looked good. I spread most of it in the pan, topped it with the jam, then sprinkled the rest on top.
The bars smelled awesome as they were baking. Once I pulled them out I had a hard time waiting for them to cool so I could taste them. I cut them into small squares then bit into one. I kid you not, my eyes rolled back in my head and I'm not sure what I said but they were that good. I quickly gobbled up the rest of the bar then put them away so I couldn't eat the rest of them.
When my husband got home I told him he had to try one. He had the same reaction. His eyes shut, he muttered something, then he gobbled up the remaining bar. We both agreed that this is our new favorite dessert. It's sweet with just a little bit of tartness from the rhubarb and the oatmeal cookie underneath and on top of the filling rounds out the bar. I have more rhubarb in the refrigerator and you better believe I'll be making these again soon!
For the jam:
- 1 c. blueberries
- 1 c. strawberries, sliced
- 2 c. rhubarb, cut in ½ inch slices
- ½ c. sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the cookie base:
- 1 ¾ c. flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 c. butter, softened
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 c. oats
- Combine all jam ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir frequently until the fruits begin to break down, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place foil in the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Stir in the oats to combine.
- Press ¾ of the cookie dough into the foil lined pan. Put the remaining cookie dough in the freezer.
- Pour the berry rhubarb jam on top of the cookie dough and spread it out evenly.
- Crumble the remaining cookie dough over top of the jam layer. Some of the jam should be peaking through.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the crumble on top is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once cooled use the foil to remove the bars from the pan. Cut into 24 pieces and enjoy.
Recipe adapted from Sift and Whisk