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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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Raspberry and Granola Parfait

Raspberry and Granola Parfait

Recently I went on a short trip to Fort Myers, Florida and I stayed at the beautiful Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort. The hotel was gorgeous, the weather was hot and most importantly, the pool was refreshing.

Ahh lounging at the pool.

Ahh lounging at the pool.

The trip was all-inclusive and so of course the food was plenty. I have to say that their breakfast spread was amazing with anything from traditional American breakfast to a more European style breakfast with salmon and various lunch meats to plenty of fresh fruit. My favorite breakfast item was a Parfait which was layered with granola, yogurt and fresh berries. I had the Parfait on the morning of my departure, which was very early, and so I brought it with me to the airport. It made for a great on-the-go breakfast but it could also be a refreshing snack or even a light lunch or dessert. With yogurt, fresh fruit and granola made with honey, you just can’t go wrong.

Granola made with oats, coconut, almonds and honey.

Granola made with oats, coconut, almonds and honey.

Ingredients for Granola:

2 cups old fashioned quaker oats

1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup slivered almonds, chopped

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup honey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a 15 x 10 inch baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

Combine oats, coconut and almonds in a small bowl. Place honey, brown sugar and cinnamon into a cup and stir to combine. Pour honey mixture over the oats and stir until completely moistened.

Spread oats out onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring twice. Turn oven off and let the oats sit in the oven for another 10 minutes. Place baking sheet on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Ingredients for Parfait:

Vanilla flavored greek yogurt

fresh raspberries, or fruit of your choice

Granola (see recipe above)

To assemble Parfait:

In a tall glass, start with a layer of yogurt, then granola and then fresh berries. Repeat layers to fill glass. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Florida sunset.

Florida sunset.

Source: adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

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