Monday, June 18, 2012

Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Ok I am kind of cheating.  This was made as part of last night's Father's day dinner for my husband, but I knew we were going out to eat tonight so I made last night's desert tonight's post:).  Even though we went out, it was a fun family experience consistent with my whole eating dinner with the family mantra.  Unfortunately I have no control over how unprocessed it is but hey it was worth the trade off.  We ate dinner at a local restaurant we had gift certificates for.  Then walked over to the beach and strolled up and down the water as the last light faded from the sky.  The kids loved running on the sand and making footprints.  I showed them the turtle nests we needed to avoid. (big mistake for the 2 year old.  She all of a sudden became afraid the baby turtles were going to bite her.  No I have no idea why; one of her favorite stuffed animals is a baby turtle)  So a refreshing stroll after dinner then back towards the car and got a quart of our favorite coconut ice cream to take home from Hershey's ice cream just off the beach.  It was a great night.  So I feel only slightly bad for cheating.  This is a favorite of all of ours.  I wish there was more rhubarb, but as I am not a strong baker, (yet:) I am afraid to mess with the recipe.  Will additional fruit make it soggy?  It is still yummy light on fruit!

Rhubarb Crumb Bars

 FOR THE STREUSEL
6 T  unsalted butter,melted, plus room-temperature butter for
1 c  all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled),plus more for pan
1/2 c  packed light-brown sugar
1/4 t  salt
FOR THE CAKE
1/2 lb rhubarb,cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 T  light-brown sugar
1 c  all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 t  baking powder
1/4 t  salt
1/2 c  (1 stick) unsalted butter room temperature
1 c  confectioners' sugar
2    large eggs
1/2 t  pure vanilla extract
[Note: Prep: 25 minutesTotal: 1 1/4 hours, plus cooling Rhubarb and
strawberries are a great match. You can substitute half the rhubarb
with an equal weight of quartered berries.  ]
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line
with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter
and flour parchment and pan, tapping out excess flour.
Make streusel: Whisk together butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour
and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to
use.
Make cake: In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup
flour. In another medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and
salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and
confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a
time.  With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread
batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with rhubarb and top with streusel.
Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out
with moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely in
pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake from pan. Cut into 16 bars

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