Welcome to Natasha's Creative Confections! If you have stumbled upon this blog page, then you're in for a real treat! One of my favorite things to do is bake. If you choose to read on you will find pictures and recipes of some of the fabulous treats that I have created. So take a look around and enjoy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blackberry Crumble Bars

These bars are quick and pretty simple to make. Kind of a funny story involved with this recipe...I found it flipping through one of my baking cookbooks and it sounded delicious! They actually were supposed to be Raspberry-Cherry Crumble Bars, and I was sure that I had all of the ingredients for them, except the dried cherries which I was going to substitute with cranberries. However, when I looked through my baking shelf, I could only find blackberry preserves. Oh no! I didn't know what to do and I had already began making the dough at this point. I didn't think that the dried cranberries would taste good with the blackberry, and the only other dried fruits I had were mango and raisins. Definitely didn't think that they would taste good in the recipe either! So, I went ahead and decided to just skip the dried fruit and have just Blackberry Crumble Bars :)

I actually just tasted one and they are pretty good. They have a chew almost like a cookie and the crust resembles something like a lemon bar. The blackberry has a sweet, mild flavor. The great thing about this recipe is that you can use any type of filling that you want! I'm looking forward to trying raspberry! What do you think would taste good?

- 1 3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 c. old fashioned or quick oats
- 1 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
- 1 jar blackberry preserves
- Confectioner's sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position an oven rack in the center. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil across the bottom and up the two long sides, then lightly coat with melted butter.
2. Place the flour, brown sugar, salt and oats in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low speed until evenly mixed. Add the cold butter and mix on low speed until the mixture looks like wet sand and starts to form clumps, 5-6 minutes.
3. Divide the dough in half. Pat one half into an even layer in the prepared pan. Set the other half aside. Bake for 20 minutes, until gold and crisp. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Leave the oven on.
4. Empty the preserves into a medium bowl and stir well to break up any clumps. Spread evenly over the cooled crust, all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the remaining dough evenly over the filling.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Transfer to a rack and cool completely, 1 1/2-2 hours.
6. To serve, run a thin knife, or spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen any dough or filling. Lift the cookies out using the foil as handles and place on a cutting surface. Cut into 3 by 1-inch bars. Just before serving, use a fine-mesh strainer to lightly dust with confectioner's sugar.

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