Monday, August 19, 2013

Blueberry Oat Bars

The kids and I went blueberry picking last week and brought home nearly 7 pounds of beautiful blueberries!!   I had planned to freeze half of them to use this fall and winter when we were craving fresh summer fruits, but alas, we gobbled all 7 pounds up, and none made it to the freezer.   What we didn't eat straight from the colander, I baked.

What did I make?  Blueberry Muffin Bread, Blueberry Fritters (recipe to be posted soon), and these......

Blueberry Oat Bars.   I've made similar recipes, but this one was new to me, found with a quick internet search.  They're apparently a Starbuck Copycat recipe, which I found here.   I made few changes other than doubling the recipe and baking in an 11 x 15 inch jelly roll pan.  I also used the blueberry filling directly from the stovetop, rather than allowing it to cool.  (Yes, I'm impatient!)

Ohhhh, these are delicious!!   You begin by making a crumbly oat crust with butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda.  I imagine finely chopped pecans or walnuts would work nicely in the crust as well.   A little of the crumb mixture is set aside for the topping, and the rest is pressed into a prepared baking pan and par-baked.

On the stovetop, fresh blueberries are mixed with a little bit of orange, sugar, and corn starch, and are cooked until thick and bubbly.   Some of the berries burst and release their juices, making such a beautiful topping for the baking crust!   (See the steamy berries??   I was too impatient to allow the filling to cool, and I saw no benefit.)

The remaining crumb mixture is sprinkled over the blueberry topping, and then the bars are baked again until golden and beautiful.

It's so hard to resist cutting into these, but it's worth the way.  The bars will be far easier to cut once cooled completely.   Oh my.  So delicious!   Enjoy the recipe!

Blueberry Oat Bars

2 cups oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Filling: In saucepan, bring blueberries, sugar and orange juice to boil; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Whisk in cornstarch and boil, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Set aside.
Crust/Topping: In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda. Cut in the butter to form a crumbly mixture. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crumbs, and pat the rest evenly into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
Spread the blueberry mixture over the base. Crumble the reserved amount of the base/topping over the blueberry mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F until light golden, about 40-45 minutes. Let cool completely on rack as these cut better when they are fully set.

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