26 June 2011

Taste of Summer

This past week was the official start of Summer.  To me, there's nothing more summerlike than the combination of strawberries and rhubarb.  A perfect marriage of succulent sweetnenss paired with tangy crispness.  I stopped at a local farmstand on the way home from work one day and picked up two pints of the juiciest, ripest native strawberries that I've had in a long time.  It was as if they had just been plucked from the fields.  You know you have a good strawberry when the juices run thick, staining your fingers (or your chin!) as you take that first bite.  It's messy, sticky, and totally delicious.  Unfortunately, the stand did not have any rhubarb that day, so last night I picked some up at the grocery store, knowing that I could not let these strawberries go to waste and had to make something rhubarby with them.

I came across this recipe earlier in the week, tried it out while G was napping today, and suffice to say, even though this weekend turned out to be anything but summerlike, the moment I put this bar into my mouth, it was an explosion of greatness. 

Hot and bubbling straight from the oven
The finished product. 

This is the type dessert that makes you feel like your tastebuds have awoken after a long winter's nap.  So without further ado...Happy Baking!

Strawberry Rhubarb Dessert Bars

1.5 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1in pieces
1.5 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 tbls lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbls corn starch

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1.5 cups uncooked quick oats
1 cup firm packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tbls milk


Combine rhubarb, berries, and lemon juice in 2 qt saucepan. Cover; cook over medium heat stirring occasionally, until fruit is tender. (8-12 min)

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in small bowl.  Stir into fruit mixture. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mix begins to boil. Continue boiling until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat oven 350.  Combine all crust ingredients in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until mix becomes coarse crumbs.  Reserve 1.5 cups of crumb mixture.  Press remaining mixture onto botton of greased 13x9 in baking pan.  Spread filling over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake for 30-35 min., or until golden brown. Cool completely.  Combine all drizzle ingredients in small bowl and drizzle over cooled bars.   Cut into bars.  Enjoy!

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