"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention."
- - Gordon B. Hinckley
June 30, 2015
Strawberry Shortcake Bars
by Melanie Gunnell

Mmmm, these bars just scream summer. Fresh, juicy strawberries snuggle right in there with a buttery, oatmeal crust, and a little creamy goodness is thrown in for good measure too.

I like the idea of desserty fruit bars. But when it comes down to it, the jam-filled numbers that crowd my google searches usually don’t do it for me. If I’m forgoing my first love (um, chocolate of course) for a dessert featuring fruit, it better be ridiculously awesome.

And strawberries are right at the top of my list for acceptable fruits to replace chocolate (but only temporarily, of course) and only if the strawberries are completely loaded on.


These bars deliver in a big way. The streusel topping and abundant layer of bright, delectably sweet strawberries are the first flavors and textures to explode in your mouth followed by the subtle creaminess and slightly crunchy crust. Heavenly. Beautiful, tasty, fruity and completely heavenly.

With all the potlucks and neighborhood BBQ’s and entertaining that may/will/should come over the summer, you probably ought to keep this strawberry shortcake bar recipe handy. I mean, I won’t even judge if you sleep with it under your pillow. Gotta be prepared.


Strawberry Shortcake Bars
Yield: Makes a 9X13-inch pan of bars

You could substitute old-fashioned rolled oats for the quick oats but I'd suggest giving them a quick whirl in the blender/food processor to refine the texture just a bit.

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 (6.25 ounces) cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) quick oatmeal (see note above)

  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) lightly packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 14 tablespoons (7 ounces) cold butter, cut into cubes

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, melted

  • 1 large egg

Strawberry Topping:

  • 2 pounds diced fresh strawberries

  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch pan with foil and lightly grease (the foil makes for easier cleanup but you can leave it out and just grease the pan).

  2. For the crust, in a large bowl combine the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, salt and nutmeg. Toss in the cubed butter and cut it into the dry mixture using a pastry blender or two knives or just your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure out 1 cup of the mixture and set it aside for later.

  3. Press the rest of the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes.

  4. While the crust bakes, make the filling by whisking together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar (you can use the same bowl as the crust without washing it out if you want to save a dish). Make a well in the center and pour in the butter and egg. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth and combined — it will be pretty thick.

  5. Crumble this mixture over the warm crust and pat into a relatively even layer (doesn't have to be perfect).

  6. In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg and vanilla. Spread evenly over the filling and sprinkle the reserved streusel/crust mixture over the top.

  7. Bake the bars for 40-45 minutes until they are just lightly golden around the edges and the center is no longer soft/jiggly.

  8. Cool completely in the pan. Cut into bars and serve. Store the bars in the refrigerator if not serving within an hour or two (I like to let them sit at room temperature out of the fridge for 20-30 minutes to take the chill off).

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (inspired by a scribbled down fruit bar recipe found in my old recipe binders)


Bookmark and Share    
About Melanie Gunnell

Melanie Gunnell is a food-loving, chocolate-obsessed mom who has a desperate need to share her favorite tried-and-true recipes with the world. In a past life she graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in public health, but for the past ten years, stay-at-home motherhood has been her job along with blogging-from-home for the past five.

She resides in the brilliantly cold tundra of Northern Minnesota with her husband and their brood of five children: four boys and one tiny, bossy girl. Dark chocolate (particularly the act of shoving chocolate chips in her mouth whilst hiding in the pantry) is her coping skill of choice for both the never-ending winters and the never-ending wrestling matches in her front room.

http://www.melskitchencafe.com/

Calling(s): Primary pianist, CTR 6/7 Primary teacher, Activity Day leader

Copyright © Hatrack River Enterprise Inc. All Rights Reserved. Web Site Hosted and Designed by WebBoulevard.com