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What's Baking: Strawberry Rhubarb Dessert Bars

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It's time once again for What's Baking. After participating for over a year, it was finally my time to host! The theme I chose was Bake in Season with Spring Produce. This time of year I am always itching waiting for the farmer's markets to open which inspired the theme. I figured even those who have farmer's markets readily available year round probably look forward to those first signs of Spring.

 

My original plan was to bake something savory, with asparagus, however, I haven't had luck finding good asparagus recently. My next thought was fiddleheads, but, I don't know, I couldn't bring myself to buy them and didn't really know what to do with them! So I changed completely and settled on something sweet.

While these are sweet, and use those bright red beauties growing in my back yard, they also incorporate the notoriously tart rhubarb. Rhubarb brings back fond childhood memories of picking a stalk from our neighbors plant, dipping it in a Dixie cup of sugar, biting down and feeling that punch in the jaw. 


 

These don't give you that punch in the jaw, instead the combination of strawberry and rhubarb make for a mellow dessert, reminiscent of a coffee cake. My husband especially loved them. He claimed they tasted like cream cheese, but I assured him there was no cream cheese, I'm pretty sure it was the buttery crumbs mixing with the creamy fruit center. I took these to a Memorial Day picnic and everyone who tried them had positive reviews as well.

 

Be sure to check back here in a couple of days for this months roundup where you'll see What's Baking in the other participants kitchens.

 

Here is what you'll need:

 

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Combine fruit and lemon juice in a small non-reactive saucepan and cook over medium heat for 8-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft. 

Combine sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Add to fruit mixture and stir. Bring to a boil and allow to thicken for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and set aside.

 

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium-high until the ingredients are combined and the mixture is crumbly.

Remove 1 1/2 cups of crumb mixture from bowl and set aside.

Pour remaining crumb mixture into greased pan and press into the bottom to form a crust. Pour filling over crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture evenly over the top of the filling.

Bake for 30-35 minutes (mine took 35 minutes). Cool completely before cutting.

Note: The original recipe included a drizzle which I omitted.

Source: Land O Lakes

Comments (2)

You picked a fabulous theme!

Thanks! It was a lot of fun to host!