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Blackberry Bars

Blackberry Bars

Blackberry Bars

Growing up back home in Denmark my father always had an elaborate garden with berry bushes, fruit trees, a vegetable garden and a green house. Needless to say he has always had a very green thumb. As for myself, I do well with herbs and I have tried my hand at growing tomatoes which turned out pretty good and this summer my blackberry bush actually gave me beautiful, juicy berries. The bush didn’t quite give me enough berries for these delicious Blackberry bars but it did give me about half of the amount I needed. I have to say, that there is something very satisfying about being able to use produce that you have grown yourself.

Blackberry bars

Cut butter into dry ingredients, pulse until only small pieces of butter remain and mixture is crumbly.

As for these gorgeous little bars they are a wonderful summer treat. I think they taste best when chilled and then cut up and served. The cake itself is soft, yet firm, a little sweet with a great crumb on top and the berries give a nice tartness to the cake.

Blackberry bars 2

Baked crust, topped with berries and filling, topped with crumble mixture and baked until golden.

Blackberry Bars (makes 16 bars)

Ingredients for crust and topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (190 grams or 6.7 ounces)

3/4 cup sugar (160 grams or 5.6 ounces)

pinch of salt

zest of 1/2 lemon

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold (12 tablespoons or 170 grams or 6.0 ounces)

Ingredients for filling:

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar (205 grams or 7.2 ounces)

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream (135 grams or 4.8 ounces)

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour (52 grams)

pinch of salt

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

16 ounces fresh blackberries (453 grams), if using frozen berries thaw and drain of excess juices

Directions:

Line a 9 x 9 inch (22 x 22 cm) pan with foil and spray lightly with baking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C).

In the bowl of a food processor or electrical mixer, combine flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Give a quick stir to combine. Cut cold butter into 1/2 inch slices (1.3 cm), add to dry ingredients and pulse/mix until only small pieces of butter remain and the mixture is crumbly. Reserve 3/4 cup of mixture for topping the bars. Add the remaining mixture to prepared pan and gently press to form and even layer of crust at the bottom of the pan. Bake 12-15 minutes or until light golden. Let crust cool for 15 minutes before proceeding.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, sugar, yogurt (or sour cream), flour, salt, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Gently fold in the blackberries. Pour filling over baked crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 3/4 cup topping mixture. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the filling is set and the top is starting to brown a little. Let cool completely on a wire rack at room temperature. Chill in refrigerator before cutting into bars. Enjoy!

Source: Annie’s Eats via The Pastry Queen

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Pumpkin Bars With Hazelnut Cream

Pumpkin Bars With Hazelnut Cream

I heard there is a Pumpkin shortage. A couple of weeks ago, there was no pumpkin to be found anywhere (believe me I looked) but now the stores are fully stocked. So do we have a shortage or did we just get off to a slow start? In any case, I am very happy to see pumpkin on the shelves again and now I can finally get started with my fall baking.

To me, Pumpkin is one of those types of food that is an acquired taste. I really didn’t care for it when I first came to the States but as time have gone by, not only do I like it, I completely love it. Not that pumpkin itself has much flavor but when seasoned correctly it become very delicious.

These pumpkin bars are light and moist all at the same time, and extremely tasty. I like them plain with no topping at all, but if you like a little topping with it, then the hazelnut/cinnamon cream compliments it very nicely. I hope you enjoy these Pumpkin Bars.

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Bars With Hazelnut Cream

Ingredients for Pumpkin Bars: 

4 large eggs

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

15 ounce can pumpkin

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

Ingredients for Hazelnut Cream:

1 1/2 cup whipping cream

3 – 3 1/2 tablespoon Hazelnut Liqueur

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan and set aside.

In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin. Mix on medium speed until blended well. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix on low-speed until batter is smooth. Spread batter into greased pan and bake for 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick into center of cake, toothpick should come out clean if cake is done. Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

To make Hazelnut Cream: Add Hazelnut liqueur in increments and taste as you go to see how mild or strong you like the mixture. In a small bowl combine whipping cream, Hazelnut liqueur and cinnamon. Beat until mixture starts to thicken and beaters leave tracks in cream. Serve on top of Pumpkin Bars, if you like. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Paula Deen, originally by Patty Ronning

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