bars · Desserts

Blackberry Crumb Bars

Blackberry Crumb Bars

As I mentioned in my homemade blackberry jam post, I love blackberries.  Love them.  My absolute very favorite thing to make out of blackberries is blackberry crisp.

This is the perfect way to make blackberry crisp a little more elegant.  In bar form.

I was looking for something to do with the frozen blackberries in my freezer, and I found this amazing recipe on une Gamine dans la Cuisine.

A crumb crust, filled with blackberry jam and whole blackberries, and then topped with more crumb topping and a rich, cream cheese drizzle.

Drool.

Okay, now I’m just being mean and making you hungry..  Go make these bars!

Bar ingredients
1 cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon zest (about 1 medium-sized lemon)
1 teaspoon baking Powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, Cold and cut into pieces
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blackberries
1 1/4 cups of blackberry jam (store bought is fine, I used homemade)
1/8 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons cornstarch

Drizzle Ingredients:
3 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 – 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract *optional
1-2 Tablespoons of cream or milk

*I didn’t measure the ingredients for this drizzle. These are my best estimates, so you may need to play around with the amounts.*

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with foil and butter/spray the foil.

In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest and 1 cup sugar. Using your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar until it becomes moist and fragrant. (I used my food processor, and just pulsed the sugar and lemon together a few times)

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter, or use your finger tips to incorporate the butter. But work quickly, you don’t want the heat from your fingers to melt the butter too much. (Again, I just used my food processor and pulsed it a few times)

Stir in the egg. (again, I used a food processor- if you have one, don’t be a hero– use it!) Dough will be crumbly and coarse, like thick wet sand.

Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

In a separate, large bowl, stir together the 1/8 cup of sugar and cornstarch.

Gently mix in the blackberries and jam.

Carefully sprinkle/spread the blackberry mixture evenly over the crust (leave about a 1/4-inch border around the edges of the pan so the berries won’t burn.)

Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Mine were done in only 35 minutes, so watch it! I’d advise checking at 30 minutes, and then every 5 minutes after.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Slowly sift in the powdered sugar. Start to add a little bit of the cream (don’t add it all at once.) Add as much or as little of the powdered sugar and cream as needed. The drizzle should not be too thick, you want to be able to shake it onto the bars in a zigzag patten with a whisk or fork.

Drizzle the cream cheese mixture over the top of the warm bars.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.

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