Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rodger's Blueberry Crumble Bars

I've got quite the motley crew in my office. Working for a tech company is interesting. There is always such a variety of characters there. My team is marketing but we sit among a large group of engineers and the like. They joke that we're the big mouths (we're always on planning calls and laughing with each other in what I call Ladies Row - our little row of cubes occupied by all women with men all around it) and we tease them over their desk toys and quirky humor.

It's a good time.

There is one gentleman in Ladies Row these days, though. Rodger sits kitty corner from me and is a super sweet war vet with a super sweet tooth. Ever since he moved into his cube, he has taken me up on my offer of sweets whenever I bring in my latest treat.

He is now my biggest fan, sneakily taking multiple cookies or muffins in a day and returning with his feedback. It's cute, really.

Recently, we were talking berries/fruits/summer treats and discussing what we liked and didn't like. I had just brought in my Raspberry Lemonade Muffins (if you're wondering, he ate 5 of them - totally serious!) and contemplating other awesome lemon/berry combos.

He disclosed that his favorite berry in a dessert was blueberries.

He didn't know but my brain was already spinning through awesome blueberry possibilities. I had to make him something scrumptious now!

I didn't want to make a blueberry muffin, as delicious as they are, and I knew I wanted to create something easy and reasonably quick - like I always do.

These Blueberry Crumble Bars came out on top. I call them crumble bars because the dough certainly is dryer than most bars (it gets pressed into the pan vs spread) and certainly does crumble nicely over those beautiful blueberries!

They came together so quickly and baked up so nicely! On many recipes I perused for inspiration, chilling bars like these before cutting was recommended. I followed the trend and was glad I did. They cut pretty smoothly!

I brought these puppies in to work, placed them on my desk, and waited for Rodger. The moment the word "blueberry" left my lips, his eyes lit up. He promised to bring me banana bread someday (the only thing he knows how to make!) in return.

Sounds like a fair trade to me!

Rodger's Blueberry Crumble Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter cut into squares
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons corn starch
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9x13 pan with foil or grease liberally.
  2. In a medium bowl (or your food processor - I used mine for this recipe), stir together 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 3 cups flour.
  3. Add in salt and lemon zest.
  4. If NOT using a food processor, use a fork or pastry cutter to add in your butter and egg. If you are using a food processor, pulse until butter is well blended. Dough will be crumbly.
  5. Place half of the dough into prepared pan and press down to form bottom layer.
  6. In another bowl, combine the 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice.
  7. Carefully mix int he blueberries to coat.
  8. Pour the blueberry mixture over the crust.
  9. Crumble remaining dough over the blueberry layer.
  10. Bake in oven for 45-50 minutes, or until top is slightly brown.
  11. Cool completely before cutting into squares.