Saturday, July 14, 2012

Feeling Country Chic In Blackberry Country

Having only a single day off each week has been tiring and rather rough. I have only baked a few things these past few months, and even then, they've needed no baking. I've been lazy, I'll admit it. But I will make it up to you with this here post, I promise. Yep, you sure did read blackberries in that title! My hubby and I took his sweet mother with us on a trip out to blackberry country and picked us some yummy berries! Like this one:

Berries, berries, all around! A whole quart of blackberries, all for me! And I guess for Sam, too. He gobbled a few down before I could decide what to do with them all. I can't really blame him. They were perfectly juicy and so very yummy! My hands were bright purple by the end of our excursion.

You're probably wondering what I finally ended up doing with this plethora of sweet, tart, goodness. Well, let me show you!

Blackberry Crumb Bars

6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, and 1/2 cup (1 stick), room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 containers (5 ounces each) blackberries (or more! I used almost a quart.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

 Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. 

Make your crumb topping. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. 

Now add 1 cup flour, and mix with a fork until large moist crumbs form. 

Refrigerate it until you're ready to use it. To use Martha's words, the topping will become "nubbly". Her word, not mine. I'm not sure what it means, but I like it!

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; set it aside. 

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the room-temperature butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Now add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

Reduce the speed to low, then mix in flour mixture. 

I love how it looks just like buttercream frosting! (And it tastes absolutely fantastic!)

Spread the batter evenly in pan. 

Alright, alright, I admit, that's not a square pan. It's more like an 8x6 pan. I was making sorbet (sans an ice cream maker) in the square pan and this was all I had left.

Here comes the fun part! Sprinkle the batter with blackberries, then the chilled topping.

I know what you're probably thinking. "That's not nearly enough berries!" Don't worry, I added even more!

Now, bake your crumb bars until they are perfectly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, or about 40 to 45 minutes. 

Cool the bars completely in your pan. 

Now it's time to pour a tall glass of milk and enjoy your country home dessert!

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