Many of us make the natural shift from soups, stews and other warm, wintery classics to lighter fare when flowers bloom and spring sings. But just because we reach for cold salads and fresh fruit doesn’t mean we can’t satisfy that ever-present sweet tooth.
If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing spring or summer dessert, we have bars you can serve up separately – or together. They are also easy to transport, making them a great treat to bring to the office, potlucks or picnics. So dig in and delight.
Feeling Fruity: Strawberry-rhubarb Bars
16 small bars (or 8 large)
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (and up to 2 tablespoons more, as needed)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt, heaping
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cornstarch helps firm up the filling (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
1 cup diced rhubarb (from about 1 1/2 medium stalks), cut small
1 cup diced strawberries, cut small
Powdered sugar, for decoration (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 F and line all sides of an 8-by-8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper
- Combine oats, flour, brown sugar and salt in bottom of the pan
- Pour melted butter over the mixture and stir until it’s clumpy
Tip: If the clumps are too damp or soft, add the remaining 2 tablespoons flour.
- Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture and press the rest of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan
- Spread half of the fruit on top of the crust, and then sprinkle it evenly with cornstarch, lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- Spread remaining fruit over this, and then top with another 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- Scatter reserved crumbs over fruit and bake bars for 30 to 40 minutes (firmer fruits may take longer), until fruit is bubbly (the crisp portion should be golden)
- Let cool in the pan, in the fridge – they will become crisp once chilled (less so at room temperature)
- Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if you’d like
Tip: Double this recipe in a 9×13-inch baking pan, and bars will come out a little thicker.
Sweet and Savoury
Try pairing these strawberry crisps with lemon bars for more variety. And, if you’re still seeking savoury, serve up a classic Southern treat with a batch of pecan pie cookie bars.