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Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble Bars

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble Bars


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Everything you love about strawberry-rhubarb pie, but easier to make and to share! These bars make a great end to a meal outdoors.

Photography Credit:Irvin Lin

The appearance of rhubarb at the market is the first sign of spring for me! I look forward to seeing bright red stalks of this celery look-alike every year—it’s one of my favorite ingredients.

Perhaps I love the fleeting nature of the produce, available for a few short months (or less, depending on the season or where you live). Or maybe it’s the vibrant red color of the stalks, which I just adore.

Either way, I can’t wait to get my hands on it, and when it finally shows up, I buy it by the bagful.

STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB: A CLASSIC COMBO

Strawberry and rhubarb are such a classic combination. The bright red color gets amplified when cooked together, and the deep, tart flavor of the rhubarb plays so well with the candy-like sweetness of ripe strawberries.

Even though everyone immediately thinks pies when rhubarb is available, these crumble bars are an easy to make, hand-held variation. The dough used for the crust also doubles as the crumble topping.

Dicing the rhubarb and strawberry means that the fruit easily turns into a jammy center filling. Larger fruit chunks will take longer to cook, which can result in over-baking the crust.

MAKE THE FILLING MORE (OR LESS) SWEET TO TASTE

The filling is made with minimal sugar, which leaves the rhubarb more on the tart side and allows the naturally sweet strawberry flavor to come shining through. But if you like your strawberry rhubarb desserts to be sweeter, feel free to up the sugar by a tablespoon or so.

USE A PARCHMENT “SLING” FOR EASY BAKING

A simple spray of cooking oil allows the parchment paper to “stick” to the bottom of the pan as you prep the bars. Once baked, the parchment paper turns into a “sling” allowing you to remove the entire pan of bars and easily cutting them. No need to dig into the bars and ruin them (or your pan)!

MORE GREAT RHUBARB RECIPES

  • Rhubarb Meringue Pie
  • Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
  • Rhubarb Sorbet
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
  • Rosemary Lemon Rhubarb Spritzer

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble Bars Recipe

These Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars are a snap to make. The crust doubles as the crumble topping. Just make sure to dice the strawberry and rhubarb in to small 1/4-inch chunks, so that they turn into a jammy fruit center filling. Larger pieces of fruit will lead to a chunkier filling.

Ingredients

For the crust and crumble dough

  • 3 cups (420 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200 g) white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (225 g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 large egg

For the fruit filling

  • 2 cups (250 g) diced 1/4-inch chunks) rhubarb (2 to 3 thick stalks or 5 to 6 thin stalks or a little over 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 cups (310 g) diced (1/4-inch chunks) strawberries (3/4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking oil. Line the pan with parchment paper with the one inch of extra parchment paper hanging over the sides.

2 Make the dough: Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch chunks and sprinkle over the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, squish the butter, breaking it down into small bits and mixing the dry ingredients together. The butter should be the size of small peas, but flat, not in chunks.

Add the egg and toss together with a fork at first, then massage into the dough with your hand. The dough will be crumbly.

3 Divide the dough and shape the crust: Scoop 1 cup (about 170 g) of the crumbly dough and set it aside.

Dump the remaining dough into the bottom of the lined pan and press down on it firmly with your hands or with the flat bottom of a cup, to form an even layer of dough at the bottom.

4 Make the filling and add to the pan: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl (you can use the same bowl you made the dough if you’d like, no need to clean it). Spread it out evenly over the bottom crust.

5 Top with crumbles and bake: Sprinkle the reserved crumbly dough over the fruit filling. Bake in the oven 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top of the fruit is bubbling and the crumb topping is golden brown. Cool completely in the pan until it reaches room temperature.

6 Cool and cut the bars: Use the side of the parchment paper to lift up and move the entire block carefully to a cutting board. Cut into bars. Serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Nothing says spring more than strawberries and rhubarb. And these beautiful bars are one tasty and easy way to enjoy those fresh flavors!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE STREUSEL:
  • ½ cups Unsalted Butter, Melted, Plus Room Temperature Butter For Pan
  • ¾ cups Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1-¼ cup All-purpose Flour
  • FOR THE BARS:
  • ½ pounds Rhubarb, Cut Into 1/2" Pieces
  • ½ pounds Strawberries, Hulled And Sliced 1/4" Thick
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
  • 1-½ cup All-purpose Flour, Divided
  • ¾ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • ¾ cups Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
  • 1-½ cup Powdered Sugar, Plus More For Dusting The Finished Bars
  • 3 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F. 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 rhubarb, 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 the mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then the 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 and sweetened cream—so lovely!


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Strawberry rhubarb crumb bars are the perfect treat for spring!

I am one of those people who stores thirty pounds of butter in her freezer and isn’t one bit ashamed to admit it.

(When you bake as much as I do, you have to stock up when the good stuff goes on sale, like Challenge Butter.)

Real, quality butter is an absolute daily part of my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It yields the best flavor in cakes, it’s the shining star of cookies, and it makes the flakiest pie crusts. And I don’t use it just for baking, it’s always within arm’s reach when I’m cooking too. Let’s face it, butter makes just about everything better.

Like these crumb bars! There’s a simple crumb mixture made mostly of flour, sugar, and butter baked around a filling of fresh strawberries and rhubarb. Slice ’em up and let’s celebrate the return of spring and berry season.

Think strawberry rhubarb pie, except easier, and that’s what you get with these crumb bars. They’re soft on the inside and crispy on top, sweet yet slightly tangy, and altogether completely scrumptious. Plus, they’re perfect for taking on the road, like to a picnic or potluck. Show up with these and your friends and family will love you forever!

They don’t need to know how simple these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars are to throw together, it’ll be our little secret. All they will care about is if there’s enough for seconds.

Baking tip:Why I only bake with unsalted butter

Most baking recipes call for unsalted butter instead of salted because the amount of salt in salted butter varies from brand to brand, and there’s no way to really know how much salt you’re getting in a stick. So if you’re following a typical recipe that calls for both salt and butter, and you choose to use salted butter, you could be adding quite a bit more salt via the butter than the recipe requires.

To give myself full control over the amount of salt in my baking, I only buy and use unsalted butter. But if all you have is salted butter, can you substitute it in a recipe? In a pinch, yes. Reduce the amount of salt called for by half, and if possible, taste and adjust as necessary.


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars (GF)

Hey, rhubarb! Come with me to my kitchen. It’s gonna be so fun. We’re going to play with your pals strawberry and rolled oats and make a really delicious treat for my friends. Trust me, you don’t wanna miss out.

Don’t act like you don’t talk to your food, too. Sheesh.

These bars were inspired by all of the insanely delicious berries and rhubarb at the store right now. It’s that time of year for all the spring and summertime treats loaded with fruit.

This recipe is simple, requiring just 10 basic ingredients.

Plus, they’re vegan, gluten-free, naturally sweetened, and made with coconut oil! Healthier treats for the win (hands raised emoji).

The crust is my go-to almond and oat crust, sweetened with coconut sugar and formed with coconut oil.

The filling is made with rhubarb and berries, orange juice, coconut sugar, and cornstarch for thickening.

And the topping is a simple mixture of gluten free oats and flour, coconut oil, and coconut sugar.

Are you sensing a theme here? I love coconut sugar and oil like whoa.

The result is a crust reminiscent of graham crackers (I KNOW) topped with super fruity, tart-sweet filling and crunchy oat crumble.

I hope you all love these bars! They’re the perfect treat for spring and summertime, and can be easily adapted with whatever fruit you have on hand. I can’t wait to make an inspired version with apple and/or pumpkin next fall (cat holding face emoji).

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram, because, obviously I want to see my delicious treats in your kitchen. Cheers, friends!


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars are made with a buttery almond crust and crumble topping. Filled with spring rhubarb and strawberries.

Rhubarb + Strawberries = Spring! Spring Rhubarb stirs up memories of my grandma’s strawberry rhubarb pie and her strawberry rhubarb jam (best!) on her homemade rolls. How I miss that wonderful lady.

Rhubarb can be hard to find. If you’re lucky, you have a large rhubarb bush tucked away in your yard. If not, start snooping around your neighbor’s yard. Maybe they have enough to share. If not, look for a farmers market or start bugging your local grocery store produce department.


Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble Bars - Recipes

Truth be told, I was going to save this recipe for a rainy day. Yes, we’re finally into rhubarb season and strawberries are just around the corner, but these gooey strawberry rhubarb crumb bars were supposed to be on hold. Instead, I decided to go ahead and share it right away, because some things are just too good to keep to yourself, ya know?

I have this really bad habit of saving things “for a special occasion.” I love a celebration more than the average bear, and it’s not unusual for me to find myself romanticizing an event with grandiose plans, elaborate treats, or just about anything else that qualifies as extra. It’s not that I want to be over-the-top or too planned out, I just like to save my best for the right moment.

Here’s an example: When Brett and I first got married, I bought this expensive bottle of sake. In my mind, I’d save it for a special dinner when I made homemade sushi or some other type of Asian cuisine and I’d be the cute put-together wife that had just the right beverage for the occasion. Over the next several months, I made Asian food more times than I could count but I never cracked open the bottle because it never felt special enough. Finally, when we moved last December, I found the old bottle all dusty in the back of our cabinet. It was well overdue and no longer good, and I remember being so disappointed that I let that treat go to waste.

I do the same thing with clothes and shoes and those expensive face masks and creams I buy at the store. Always certain that there’s a special occasion worthy of them, I hold off from opening, using, or wearing those items, and before long they’ve been forgotten. Now they don’t fit or they’ve expired or they’re simply out of style. Instead of relishing those treats or sharing them when I had the opportunity, I let them go to waste.

Why do we ration the good things in our life? For so long, I’ve resisted the urge to appreciate and indulge in the gifts I have because the moment doesn’t feel worthy of them. Instead of preserving those things for the right time, I end up wasting them. I think (and hang with me for a minute, because this is going to be a stretch) that we do the same thing with our own personal gifts. Not the tangible items like a pair of earrings or a fancy sofa or a block of imported cheese, but the gifts inside of us. Our talents, our desires, and our dreams. So often, we stifle a vision, we refrain from sharing a kind word with someone, or we hold off on pursuing something we desire because we’re unsure the time is right. What does this waiting accomplish? When we fail to tap into something that we love or that has been gifted to us, we are rarely saving it for a rainy day. Usually we’re putting that idea on the shelf to become dusty and forgotten.

I have some dreams that have been sitting on a shelf for a while. Sometimes I’ll pick them up and consider the possibilities for a moment, but then I usually just toss it back on the shelf with the notion that I’ll think about it when the time is right. But what if that time is right? What if I’ve been allowing fear to bench my gifts and purposes when that perfect moment was just a little effort away? If we wait for one of life’s dramatic curtain calls instead of taking captive those unremarkable moments that make up our days, will we find ourselves waiting for an opportunity that never comes? I’m beginning to think so.

So the purpose of spewing all this rambling your way is this: don’t hide your gift. Share your dreams and talents and ideas with anyone who will listen. Don’t wait forever on an open door when you might have the key to a few closed ones right in front of you. We cheat ourselves and the world when we tuck our gifts out of sight, so hold yours out with open hands and be willing to share them.

Ok, all of that was probably way too serious for these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars. This little treats are simple, quick to put together, and entirely delicious, so you’re going to want to share them with everyone. Scout’s honor. I’m sharing today’s recipe in partnership with my friends at Diamond Nuts. On top of all those layers of brown sugar, oats, butter, and fruit jam are savory toasted pecans that round out the flavor perfectly on these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars. I’ve come to appreciate a small sprinkle of Diamond Nuts on just about everything I make these days, and here, in these bars, the pecans add just the right amount of toasty crunch to complete these otherwise soft and gooey bars. If you are in need of a go-to nut brand, Diamond is definitely your best bet.

To make these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars, we first have to throw together the quick jam. I used fresh rhubarb and frozen strawberries, but you can use whatever you have on hand. With just a little sugar and water, the fruit cooks down into a thin jam that you can use for these treats, on toast, or even as a filling for a cake that I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks. This jam can also be canned, but we won’t go into all of that today.

The next step is to make the oat mixture for the strawberry rhubarb crumb bars. Flour, brown sugar, oats, and butter come together into a clumpy delicious mixture. Pack 2/3 of the mixture into a prepared 8″ pan and bake until just barely set. Spread a little of the cooled jam on top and sprinkle the remaining crumbs and pecans on next. If you want a super fruity and gooey bar you can throw a little extra strawberries in there too. The fruit will weep and juice all over the place making it more akin to a pie bar, so if you’re into that, go for it! For a thinner layer of fruit just stick with the jam. Both are phenomenal, if you ask me.

The bonus of these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars is that they serve a crowd, can be made in a cinch, and freeze like a dream. If you’re not into making homemade jam, feel free to use your favorite store-bought option instead. I personally was ecstatic to find yet another use for that spring rhubarb that I’ve come to covet, so if you happen to see some in your stores, grab it and make these ASAP. They’re fab.

Thanks for listening to me ramble on today, and I hope you love the strawberry rhubarb crumb bars! Many thanks to the kind humans at Diamond Nuts for giving me the opportunity to share this go-to recipe with you all today. Pick up some of their pecans next time you’re at the store and just tell me you don’t taste the difference. I bet you will. Happy baking y’all!


Strawberry Rhubarb Bars:

I stumbled across some rhubarb on one of my grocery shopping trips back in February. It felt a bit early, but I love rhubarb, and since the season can be short, I picked up a dozen stalks and excitedly went home to bake. These Strawberry Rhubarb Bars were the tasty result of that unexpected find.

It&rsquos no secret that I have a crush on rhubarb. Last year I put together a blog post with all of my favorite rhubarb-based recipes. Fellow rhubarb lovers, you can find that here. I think these Strawberry Rhubarb Bars will be a lovely addition to that list.

I like these bars for lots of reasons:

  • They are simple to make. (No mixer is required.)
  • The pinkish-red color of the strawberry rhubarb mixture is gorgeous.
  • They are delicious!
  • And the recipe makes eight servings, so there&rsquos just enough to enjoy and share.

Now that I&rsquove tempted you, you&rsquore probably wondering how to make the bars. Let me show you!


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars

These crumble bars are fairly simple and lend to both fresh or frozen fruit. Strawberry and rhubarb come together with lemon juice to make a tart, sweet filling which gets nestled between a lightly sweetened crumble dough made from oats, almond flour, coconut oil and applesauce. As the crumble bakes the natural sugars from the fruit condense and caramelize, leaving a thick and delicious jammy filling. The crumble dough is reminiscent of a lightly spiced oatmeal cookie – dense and buttery (without any butter!). The coconut oil adds healthy fat and sweet flavor while the applesauce provides moisture and a natural sweetness. These bars satisfy a sweet craving and won’t leave you with a sugar crash. Pretty perfect, in my opinion.


Fresh or frozen – which is more nutritious?

Frozen fruit and veggies are often overlooked or misinterpreted as less nutritious, but research shows that this may not be the case. Numerous factors play a role in the nutrient density of produce. The soil it’s grown in, when it is harvested, and how long it sits before consumption all play a role.

Just because produce is fresh and sitting on the grocery store shelf doesn’t mean it superior to frozen in nutrients or taste. In fact, most produce is picked before its peak ripeness, which means it has not had the chance to develop all of its vitamins and minerals (aka: not as nutrient dense). On the other hand, produce that is destined for the freezer is allowed to ripen fully before harvesting. Once the produce is picked it is flash frozen (vegetables are blanched beforehand) and the nutrients are locked in.

Research shows that frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious or more so than fresh. For reference, one study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry studied vitamin C, riboflavin, vitamin E and beta-carotene in frozen and fresh food samples and found that the vitamin content of the frozen foods was comparable and occasionally higher than their fresh counterparts (with the exception of beta-carotene).

I think we can all agree that growing your own produce or getting it from the farmer’s market will be the most nutrient dense, tastiest you’ll find. But I get it, that is not always an option! Since there are numerous factors that play a role in the nutrient profile of the produce we find in the grocery store or at the local farmers market, the key is to know when it may be more beneficial to purchase frozen over fresh.


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars are made with a buttery almond crust and crumble topping. Filled with spring rhubarb and strawberries.

Rhubarb + Strawberries = Spring! Spring Rhubarb stirs up memories of my grandma’s strawberry rhubarb pie and her strawberry rhubarb jam (best!) on her homemade rolls. How I miss that wonderful lady.

Rhubarb can be hard to find. If you’re lucky, you have a large rhubarb bush tucked away in your yard. If not, start snooping around your neighbor’s yard. Maybe they have enough to share. If not, look for a farmers market or start bugging your local grocery store produce department.


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Comments:

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  2. Athemar

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