Friday, May 3, 2013

Strawberry Crumb Cake Bars

I love fresh strawberries and I'm always looking for recipes to use them in. I wanted to make a strawberry dessert to take to a party that didn't require a plate and fork. These almost fit the bill. They were labeled as bars, but I would describe them more as cake-like than bars. They bake up super high and fluffy and have the texture of a moist coffee cake. I love the layer of fresh strawberries and brown sugar crumble on top.

These 'bars' would be perfect for brunch or a nice after-dinner dessert.

If you have a container of fresh strawberries on hand, this is a lovely and yummy way to use them up. Come to think of it, blackberries might also be nice!

Strawberry Crumb Bars

Yield: 16 to 20 bars

for the streusel:
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted, plus room temperature butter for pan
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour

for the bars:
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4" thick
2 T. light brown sugar
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar, plus more for dusting finished bars
3 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract


Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9'' square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2'' overhang on 2 sides. Butter and flour parchment paper and pan, tapping out the excess flour. Set aside.
for the streusel:

Whisk together the butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
for the bars:

In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of the flour. In another medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1-1/4 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla and almond extract, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Top with rhubarb and strawberry mixture, then top with prepared streusel. If you like to have some of the pretty red of the rhubarb and strawberries show on top (I do!), poke a few pieces up through the streusel.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a bit of moist crumbs attached, about 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and, using the parchment paper overhang, lift cake from pan. Cut into bars and dust with powdered sugar. Serve as is, or with some freshly whipped cream!

Adapted from A Farm Girl Dabbles

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