You know, when this time of year starts to roll in, I become a berry fiend. It’s a little crazy, because I am usually a crazy chocolate fiend (which, don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t go away AT ALL), but berries definitely find a place in my heart and in my drooling right about now.
When I was growing up on the homestead (I say that jokingly – we had about .5 acres, but about half of that was dedicated to a big garden so compared to lot and garden sizes these days, it seemed gi-normous!), we had our fair share of berries that we grew – raspberries, blackberries, strawberries…..that is like one of my favorite memories. I would always help do the daily pickin’ (not sure if more made it in the baskets or in my mouth).
But we never did have blueberries. In our harsh desert climate, blueberries were just no. But I managed to still fall in love with them though. Mostly for things of the pie variety.
By the way, how many blue foods are there? The answer, not many. I was curious one day and started doing some internet research, like my wandering mind often does. And I found only a handful of naturally blue foods that we eat: blueberries, blue potatoes, and there’s some types of blue corn that they can grind and make chips (I don’t think that it’s a type to eat off of the cob). Good ole’ internet also said that most naturally occurring blue-ish hued foods are poisonous. So really, blueberries are one of nature’s novelties that we should not underestimate nor under-appreciate!
K, so now these blueberry bars. They are fabulous. I swear I used to eat these like once a week “back in the day”. Do you have a “back in the day”? Ours was when my husband and I were fairly newlywed, and we went over to our friends’ house literally every night for dinner, treats, and a little bit of “Rock Band.” Seriously, they must’ve gotten so sick of us…..but we just kept coming 😉 Now that’s true friendship. Anyway, these bars were part of the line up and frequented the table often.
I don’t know if you can really screw these up. They are just a delicious shortbready butter crust, layer with blueberries, and then more crust. Piece of cake! But, not cake. You get it! I’ve used them many a time when I was in a pinch for something and they’ve never failed me! Give ’em a try and celebrate berries with me!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon optional
- 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, chilled, and cut into small squares
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 cups fresh blueberries or frozen, but do not thaw
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Grease a 9x13 pan.
In medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, flour, and baking powder.
Mix in salt and cinnamon (optional).
Use a fork/pastry cutter/hands and cut in the butter until it resembles the size of peas.
Add egg and combine until it just comes together. Dough will be crumbly.
Pat half of dough into prepared pan.
In another bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch.
Gently mix in the blueberries.
Spread the blueberry mixture evenly over the bottom pressed dough.
Sprinkle remaining topping over the berry layer.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown.
Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Dress it Up:
Add a cream cheese or cheesecake layer! For cream cheese layer, simply soften 8 oz cream cheese and add about 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Stir together until blended, and spread over bottom layer of shortbread crust before topping with blueberries. For a cheesecakey layer, also mix in an egg to the cream cheese and powdered sugar mixture before spreading!
Change it Up:
How about some different fruit options? Raspberry, blackberry, peach, strawberry, or a combo like peach-blueberry. YUMMMMMM!
This recipe was first shared as a contributor post on Or So She Says.
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