Friday, September 14, 2012

wild blackberry crumb bars

design. bake. run. -- blackberry crumb bars

this was the blackberry crumb bars i made during labor day weekend earlier this month. on labor day c really wanted to go hiking so he insisted that we take him. we live pretty close to a state park with gorgeous view of the sf bay and beyond so going there for a hike was no biggie. plus we hadn't gone hiking in months (that was probably why c wanted to go).

halfway through our hike along this very overgrown trail we came across some bushes of wild blackberries. i'm not sure if c has ever had a freshly picked blackberry off the bush before so we picked a couple up and washed them for him. they were just ripe and perfectly sweet. we told ourselves we would get on with the hike and forget about the blackberries, but a few moments later we found ourselves picking a few blackberries here, a few there and before you know it, we had quite the handful of blackberries. let's just say all of our hands were full walking all the way back to the parking lot.

when we got home c said, "mommy, you could make a pie with that." i told him i could and i thought about it, but after a while, i couldn't be bothered to go through the process of making a pie crust. i'm not saying pie crusts are hard to make, i just didn't feel like making it that day. so long story short, i ended up making these delicious blackberry crumb bars. you see i've made these before but had never really made them with fresh blackberries. every time i thought about making them, i didn't have any fresh ones on hand and would always have to resort to the frozen kind. they would turn out alright, but not quite the same (now that i've had them with fresh ones).

these crumb bars turned out fantastic! c was so proud of himself for having been part of the berry picking and seeing an end result to it all.

below's the recipe should you be interested. i love these and cannot wait to make them again. you can substitute the blackberry for other berries. i'm sure another kind of fruit altogether will work just fine too. :)

design. bake. run. -- the making of these yummy blackberry crumb bars
mixing up the crumbly butter goodness topping

design. bake. run. -- freshly picked blackberries
the unexpected find from our hike, fresh blackberries!

design. bake. run. -- wild blackberries
a closeup shot of the wild blackberries

design. bake. run. -- delicious blackberry crumb bars right out of the oven
a close-up of the finished delicious crumb bars out of the oven and cooling on the rack

design. bake. run. -- mmmm... blackberry crumb bars
a shot of it out of the pan, before cutting

design. bake. run. -- yum! blackberry crumb bars
i couldn't help it, i had to eat the first cut square before taking this picture. so good! hehehe

blackberry crumb bars
recipe taken from martha stewart


6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, and 1/2 cup (1 stick), room temperature, plus more for pan
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 containers (5 ounces each) blackberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter and flour paper, tapping out excess.

Make topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; add 1 cup flour, and mix with a fork until large moist crumbs form. Refrigerate topping until ready to use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat room-temperature butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture. Spread batter evenly in pan; sprinkle with blackberries, then chilled topping.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares.

Cook's Note: While you prepare the cake, refrigerate the crumb topping. This will help give it a nubbly texture once baked. To store, keep in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 3 days.

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