Smitten Kitchen in my opinion should be known as one of the greatest food blogs ever. Not only are Deb’s (the Genius behind Smitten Kitchen) recipes amazing but her photos are equally amazing. To say they are drool worthy would be speaking lightly. I love how you can always tell each photo is hers, she has her own unique style. Also, she has a way with instantly selling me. I always wish I was holding in my hand, ready to blissfully dive into whatever it is she posts. The Blueberry Crumb Bars she posted looked simple yet ever so stunning. I’ve had them on my to do list for about a year now. Why I waited this long I can never tell you. These things are unbelievable! A dessert so good you will nearly be at a loss for words when describing it’s goodness. Yet, I will attempt.
You get a melt in your mouth, buttery and tender shortbread, layered with fresh, sweet, juicy blueberries and then it’s sprinkled with more of that delicious, buttery cookie goodness (then here is where my addition came in to play), and finally it’s sprinkled with one of my very favorite things, Raw sugar. So, with that said, how could these not be simply fantastic?
I did add some vanilla extract into the recipe to amp up the flavor of the dough just a bit, I think it compliments the blueberry perfectly. The original recipe, from allrecipes.com listed you could optionally add a pinch of cinnamon, so feel free to add that as well.
I am so in love with these bars because my favorite part of a blueberry muffin is the crumb topping (as well as the blueberries) and basically that is what these are. The crumb topping of a muffin with blueberries sandwiched in the middle. So, yes indeed, these are one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. These should definitely hold a spot on the Food Networks “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and I should definitely be doing the spot lighting haha just joking but that would be awesome =). Enjoy these ever so dreamy Blueberry Crumb Bars! I know I did.
Blueberry Crumb Bars
Yield: 9-12 Bars
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar , divided
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup salted butter , chilled and cut into cubes
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cups fresh blueberries , at room temperature
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Raw Turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8x8 baking dish, set aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolk and vanilla until combine. Add egg mixture and cold butter cubes to flour mixture and using a fork or a pastry cutter (or even your fingertips), cut mixture together until it resembles coarse crumbs. Gently press 2/3 of the mixture evenly into prepared 8x8 dish.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 2 tsp cornstarch. Stir in lemon juice then add blueberries. Toss mixture to evenly coat then pour and spread coated blueberries evenly over crust in baking dish. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over berry layer (I pressed some of the mixture together in my hands while sprinkling to make larger crumbs). Sprinkle 1 1/2 Tbsp Raw Turbinado sugar evenly over top. Bake in preheated oven for about 38 - 42 minutes until top is golden brown. Allow to cool for about 20 - 30 minutes before cutting into squares (or serve warm with vanilla ice cream, yum). Store bars in an airtight container in refrigerator (Note: I tried these cold, straight out of the refrigerator and I preferred them warm vs cold. Just a personal preference. I would say if you like cold berry pie then you would like cold bars but I like my berry pies warm so I loved these bars warm. So, with that said, when I would eat one I would heat in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds to rewarm it first).