Saturday, July 16, 2016

Berry rhubarb oat bars

What to do when your parents give you a bunch of rhubarb from their garden, and you have some cherries just hanging out in your refrigerator?

You spent way too much time going through all your cookbooks and Pinterest to figure out the perfect dish to make, you find a recipe for cherry rhubarb pie, you decide it's going to be too much work to make with your schedule, you go back to the drawing board (this time adding Google to the mix), and you finally come across this cherry rhubarb recipe that looked really good.

So you make the recipe, and at the last minute decide to throw in some blueberries, because why not? Then you pat yourself on the back, because it was delicious!

I couldn't really taste much of the rhubarb, but I'm sure it helped pull back on the sweetness a bit. I made cherry bars last year that I didn't eat because they were soooooo sweet (yuck). But these were perfect!

I also liked that these were not just cake bars. The bottom is a cake-like base, the middle is a fresh-fruit filling, and it's topped with a buttery oat crumble. That crumble with the fruit was probably my favorite part of the dessert!

Buen provecho,

Berry rhubarb oat bars, adapted from Merry About Town
Note: The original recipe called for whole wheat flour, so use any time of flour for the base. I also think you could probably add a bit more fruit if you wanted to pump up the summertime flavors. 

Make sure the bars are completely cool before storing. I put mine in a container while they were still a touch warm, and I think it softened the oat topping a bit. 


Oat Crumb Topping
1 cup flour
½ cup oats (I used regular oats for the texture; quick oats work too)
¾ cup light brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
⅓ cup butter, melted

Cake Base
1 cup flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup Greek yogurt (I didn't have any so used an extra 1/4 cup butter)
1 to 1½ cups confectioners (icing) sugar (I used ~1 1/4 cups because I was worried the recipe would be too sweet, but I think 1½ cups would be good too, even for me)
3 eggs
½ tsp almond extract

½ pound rhubarb, chopped in to ½ inch pieces
½ pound dark sweet cherries, cut in half
½ cup blueberries
4 TBSP granulated sugar
1 TBSP whole wheat flour

  1. Prep materials. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Line 13x9 pan with parchment paper leaving an inch of parchment paper overhang. Grease and flour the pan/parchment paper.
  2. Oat Crumb Topping. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle melted butter in to the mixture and stir well. Break up any clumps to have a consistent crumb mixture.
  3. Cake Base. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In a mixer bowl, combine softened butter, Greek yogurt and confectioners sugar. Mix until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time while mixer is running on med high speed. Turn mixer to low and add almond extract. Fold in flour with a spatula. Set aside. 
  4. Filling. Rinse cherries, blueberries, and rhubarb pieces with cold water. Place in a large bowl and add sugar and flour. Toss to coat.
  5. Assembly. Spread cake base evenly on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with berry mixture. Evenly cover with crumb mixture. Bake for 50 - 65 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in the pan. Remove bars by lifting them out with the parchment paper. Cut into bars. 
Cooling in the pan
They're particularly good eaten warm with a scoop of ice cream!


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