Sunday, March 20, 2011

Berry Cornmeal Crumble Bars

It was 70 degrees and sunny in New York City on Friday. The weather put me in such a good mood that I actually skipped down the hallway at work. I also did a few time steps in the elevator bay.

Not that me tap dancing while waiting for the elevator has anything to do with the weather. I always tap dance in the elevator bay, no matter if it's snowing or cloudy with a chance of meatballs.

But my renegade tap steps definitely had a little extra "umph" on Friday. Spring and sunshine just put me in a good mood.

When it comes to baking, berries are to spring as pumpkin is to fall. And just like sunshine, berries make me happy. I've just got to bake with berries in the spring.

So when I received my Everyday Food in the mail this week and saw this recipe for Raspberry Cornmeal Crumble Bars, I texted Becky right away--could she pick up some raspberries on the way home?

Beck's a good sis and understands that when one is called to a recipe, sometimes one must answer the call immediately, so she came home with frozen raspberries.

(Even better than recipes that use berries are recipes that use frozen berries, because these recipes allow you to answer "the call" even if the berries you seek are not quite in season.)

When Beck got home, however, she realized she'd picked up one bag of raspberries and one bag of strawberries, instead of two bags of raspberries, as the recipe called for.

"No problem!" I said. "We are not berry exclusive in this kitchen!" (Yes, I like me a pun now and then. Go ahead and groan. I am used to it.)

Hence, Raspberry Cornmeal Crumble Bars became Berry Cornmeal Crumble Bars. Because let's face it--"Raspberry Strawberry Cornmeal Crumble Bars" is just too much to say, especially if your mouth is full of strawberry-raspberry-cornmeal-crumbles.

These bars are buttery and not too sweet, and remind me of strawberry shortcake, minus the whipped cream.

Speaking of which, I'm told NYC can expect a little "whipped cream" of our own later this the form of snow.

Really, NYC? Really?!

If you don't mind, I think I'll carry on as if spring were here to stay, tapping my feet in the elevator bay and baking with as many merry berries as I can find.

Happy Spring!


Berry Crumble Bars
Adapted from Everyday Food (April 2011)
Makes 24-28 bars

1 1/2 cups natural almonds
1 cup yellow cornmeal
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
Approximately 16 oz. frozen berries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 9" x 13" pan with parchment paper.
  2. Pulse almonds in food processor until finely ground.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together almonds, cornmeal, flour, sugar, and salt.
  4. Add butter and stir until dry ingredients are evenly moistened.
  5. Press about two-thirds of dough into baking pan.
  6. Scatter berries over top and crumble remaining dough over berries.
  7. Bake until top is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Let cool in dish on wire rack. Cut into 24-28 bars.
  8. Store in air-tight container, or tightly wrapped in plastic, at room temperature, up to 3 days.

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