The talented Zorra at "Koctopf" (Spain) is organizing/has created a blogevent that any American cuisine freak should not miss: the "American Cooking Festival"!
So, if you want to participate (see infos in German), just blog about any US speciality of your choice (hamburgers, BBQs, sandwiches, salads, marinades, chowders, brownies, cheesecakes, cornbreads, sticky buns, etc...) and send you permalink to Gabi at "Crockyblog" (Germany) before the 15th of July 2007 (she is hosting the event)...
For that great and unique event, I decided to pay hommage to a fantastic baked item which is very characteristic of the cuisine made in the USA. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm talking about the fabulous BAR COOKIES (aka bars)!
As with most bars, those "Blueberry Crumble Bars" are particularly versatile, rich, "dirty" and scrumptious. With their three layers (cookie crust/fruit filling/crumble topping), they are to die for and just simply perfect! Their crust is gorgeously flaky/brittle and delicately lemon flavored, the blueberry filling is incredibly delicious with it's tartness and slightly chewy jam-like texture, and their crumble topping wonderfully. Not to forget their pleasant spiciness which is confered by the use of cinnamon and ginger, a very common spice combination in the US...
If you are on a diet, keep away from those deadly bars. But if you are in search of something extremely comforting and gorgeously satisfying, then those incredible bars are definitely for you!
Once again Tish Boyle's awesome cookbook "The Good Cookie" proves to be THE cookie baking reference book that any home baker should possess!...
~ Fantastic Blueberry Crumble Bars ~
Recipe by Tish Boyle and slightly adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.
Makes 24 bars.
Ingredients for the crust:
1 1/2 Cups (192g) Plain white flour
2/3 Cup (160g) Light brown sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
172g (11 Tbs) Unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 Egg (~53g)
The zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1/2 Tsp Vanilla extract
Ingredients for the blueberry filling:
3/4 Cup (158g) Castor sugar
1 Tbs Cornstarch
1/2 Tsp Ground cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ground ginger
2 Cups (250g) Blueberries
Ingredients for the crumb topping:
1 Cup (128g) Plain white flour
1/3 Cup (80g) Firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 Cup (53g) Castor sugar
1 Tsp Ground cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Salt
94g (6Tbs) Unsalted butter, melted
Method for the crust:
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).
2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 13 x 20 (9 by 13-inch) baking pan.
3. Place the flour, brown sugar and salt in a bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to blend.
4. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour mixture and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-sized pieces of butter, about 6 seconds.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, lemon zest and vanilla until blended.
6. Add the egg mixture to the food processor and process for a few seconds, just until the dough is blended, but still crumbly.
7. Turn the dough out into the prepared pan.
8. With floured fingertips, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.
9. Set aside.
Method for the blueberry filling:
10. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and ginger.
11. Add the blueberries and toss to coat well.
12. Spread the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust.
Method for the crumb topping:
13. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt until blended.
14. Stir in the melted butter until the mixture comes together.
15. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the blueberry filling.
16. Bake the bars for 48 to 50 minutes, until the topping is lightly browned and the filling is bubbling.
17. Cool the bars completely in the pan on a wire rack.
18. Cut into 24 bars.
The crust can also be made by hand, as long as you respect the method.
At point 6, do not allow the dough to form a ball around the blade, otherwise the crust will be tough.
While pressing the dough into the pan, reflour your fingertips as necessary.
If you plan to use frozen blueberries in this recipe, then seek out individually quick-frozen fruits. It's not necessary to thaw them before using.
For the crumb topping, you may use light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar.
Those bars can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Eat them at any time of the day with a glass of cold milk, a cup of tea or coffee.
They are ideal for picnics and outdoor events.
If you wish to discover other US specialities, then I recommend you to go there and have a look at my recipes....