Thursday, August 28, 2014

Blueberry Oat Bars (just like Starbucks used to serve!)

One of my favorite treats that I used to find at Starbucks a few years ago (until they discontinued them…boo, hoo!) was their blueberry oat bars. These were absolutely delicious…especially with a cup of coffee on a cool day. Yum!

Once Starbucks stopped selling blueberry oat bars, I had to come up with a recipe of my own…and I did. The recipe is below. I have found these bars are nice to serve at “ladies gatherings” like tea parties. If your neighbor drops by to chat one morning  and you’re brewing coffee and want something to go with your caffeine, these bars are a perfect accompaniment.  But even a crowd of teenage guys enjoy these too! They’re great for breakfast…and actually far more nutritional than toaster pastries and a lot of cereals. These bars can be baked ahead of time and frozen for 1-2 months; just remove them out of the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature for about an hour before serving.


4 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup cornstarch

Place first three filling ingredients in a saucepan. Heat on a medium high heat on the stove. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes (until berries are soft). Whisk in cornstarch and stir over low heat for about 2 more minutes more , until filling is thickened. Remove from heat. Put some plastic wrap on top of the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Set out at room temperature for about an hour to cool.

2 cups uncooked oatmeal, quick or old-fashioned
1 cup flour, all-purpose or unbleached
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, cold

Mix all crust/topping ingredients except butter together in a large bowl. Using your fingers, work in the butter until crumbly.  Spread about half of the mixture into the bottom of a lightly buttered 9 x 13 inch pan. Spoon the blueberry filling on top. Sprinkle the other half of the crust/topping mixture on top of filling.

Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for about 35 to 40 minutes, until crust is lightly browned and filling is starting to bubble. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 1-2 hours before cutting into bars.




Sunday, August 17, 2014

Warm Blackberry Crisp

One of my favorite desserts to serve to company is so easy….blackberry crisp. You can make it ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. I will put the crisp in the oven to bake while we’re eating the main meal. When it’s time to eat dessert, the crisp will be done baking and cooling a bit…but it’ll still be warm. Top the crisp with vanilla ice cream and you have a scrumptious dessert!

Here’s the recipe:

3 cups fresh blackberries
4 T. granulated sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 cup all-purpose or unbleached white flour
1 cup oats (quick or old fashioned)
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup butter

Toss the first three ingredients together and set aside. In another bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients together (flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and butter) until crumbly. Lightly butter a 1 ½ quart casserole dish. Press half of the crumb mixture on the bottom. Cover that with the berry mixture. Top that with the other half of the crumb mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 to 35 minutes—until fruit is bubbly and topping is slightly browned. Remove from oven. Let rest at room temperature about 10 minutes before serving.