Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Farmgirl's Blueberry Breakfast Bars

One of my very favorite blogs to read is Farmgirl Fare. Susan has a wonderful way with words and her photographs of her Missouri farm are beautiful. The stories of all her many animals are most entertaining and a great way to start the day.

She is also a very good cook and has a blog about her kitchen garden and a blog that she shares with two other bakers called A Year in Bread. All three blogs have lots of yummy recipes in them. How she manages to find time to do all this and run her farm, I'll never know, but she has graciously given me permission to reprint her Blueberry Breakfast Bar recipe. They are a great way to start the day and even better after dinner with a scoop of French Vanilla Ice Cream.

Farmgirl's Blueberry Breakfast Bars (Makes 12 to 16 large bars)

Bottom Layer:
2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (she uses Heartland Mill organic)
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons (1 stick + 2 Tbsp/5 ounces) butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Top Layer:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick/four ounces) butter or natural vegetable oil sticks (she uses Earth Balance, I used real butter)

Middle Layer
3-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (1/4 tsp. if freshly ground)

For the Bottom Layer:
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9" x 13" pan. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Press this mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan with your fingers. (You can use the bottom of a stainless steel measuring cup to help make the crust flat and even.)

For the Top Layer:
Place the flour, brown sugar, and butter or vegetable oil sticks in a small bowl and use a fork, pastry blender, or your fingers to combine until the mixture resembles large crumbs (some pea-sized clumps are okay). Set aside.

For the Middle Layer:
Place the blueberries in the bowl you mixed the Bottom Layer in and toss them with the almond extract. Pour them evenly over the Bottom Layer in the pan. Combine the sugar and flour and sprinkle it evenly over the blueberries. (Even when wet or frozen, the sugar/flour mixture wouldn't stick to my big fat blueberries when I tried tossing it with them. If yours will, just toss the sugar/flour mixture with the blueberries and then pour the whole mixture over the Bottom Layer in the pan.)

Sprinkle the Top Layer evenly over the blueberry mixture. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden, and the edges are starting to brown. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Store in a cool place or refrigerate. Bars may also be frozen.

Susan has also experimented using other fruit instead of all blueberries - these versions make a more "fruity" bar less suited to eating out of hand than the plain ones. To use apple follow the following for the middle layer: 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, 3 generous cups unpeeled chopped apples (about 5 small/19 oz), 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (1/2 teaspoon if pre-ground)

For a peach version, use two cups of small peach chunks and three cups of blueberries. They will take slightly longer to bake and should be refrigerated to keep from getting too mushy.

Thank you, Susan for letting me share your Blueberry Breakfast bars with my readers!
Recipe and photograph Copyright 2006

1 comment:

Kathy L. said...

I just wish we had good blueberries available in this area! We have frozen, but it's not the same, is it? :(