blackberry crumb bars

July 23, 2012

in Bars & Bites

I have a confession to make: I’m not much of a pie lover. I love the berry filling of a good pie, but I always seem to pick around the crust – it’s just not my thing. I do love shortbread though, so a crumb bar with a vanilla-sugar shortbread crust and a blackberry filling that rivals the best berry pie I’ve ever eaten is my thing.

Bursting with succulent berries (tossed in Chambord because, well, why not?!), these bars are the ultimate taste of summer. Fresh from the oven, the fruit layer is especially jammy, though I’d never pass up a chilled square either. Since I’m in confession mode, I admit that I found myself enjoying buttery crumb morsels straight from the refrigerator. All I need is a reason to make another batch!

Blackberry Crumb Bars
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Crust & Crumbs
2/3 cup vanilla-sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cubed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp Chambord
1/3 cup vanilla-sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
4 cups fresh blackberries

For the vanilla-sugar, pulse sugar and vanilla in a food processor until combined.

Preheat oven to 375°F and spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. For the crust and crumbs, whisk together vanila-sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter and egg with a pastry cutter until dough is moist and crumbly. Press 2/3 of the dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish. Toss remaining dough with almonds and water until large crumbs form; set aside.

To prepare filling, stir together Chambord, vanilla-sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl; add blackberries and toss gently to coat. Spoon blackberry mixture evenly over crust, then sprinkle remaining dough over the berry layer. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden. Cool bars completely in pan on a wire rack, then chill dish in the freezer for 10 minutes to make cutting easier. Cut into squares with a sharp knife. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Yield – 20 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 165
Carbs – 24

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1 Laura @ Family Spice July 23, 2012

Oh, yes! I totally agree! The fruit filling is the best part of the pie! Again, I could eat the whole pan of these bars!


2 Patty July 23, 2012

These bars sound wonderful, I love blackberries and tossed with the Chambord, wow! I think they look and sound like a perfect way to enjoy a dessert made with blackberries;-)


3 Annamaria @ bakewell junction July 23, 2012

Looks delicious. I agree about the pie crust, the filling is the best.


4 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet July 23, 2012

I am with you on the pie crust, Laura. These bars are perfect! Love anything with crumb topping! Have a fabulous day!


5 Jen @ Savory Simple July 23, 2012

I do love pie. But I ALSO love shortbread and these look so outstanding. They definitely just moved high up on my to bake list.


6 Riley July 23, 2012

Ooh these look so good! The crust is still my favorite part of pie, but this filling looks good enough to eat on its own! YUM!


7 Jen L | Tartine ans Apron Strings July 23, 2012

I’m bookmarking this recipe!!!! I love crumb bars – especially when vanilla shortbread is involved! I want to lick my screen now, Laura. As usual, your pastries are delightful and delicious! Love that pewter-like platter as well! I have a similar one :)


8 Bonnie July 23, 2012

I so agree with the pie crust. My mother makes the best but it’s not my thing either. BUT I love the fillings. Thanks for the recipe.


9 Cakewhiz July 23, 2012

I am the opposite…i like to eat the crust of pies…hehe. I fidn their texture and slight crunch very appealing! But these bars look divine and i don’t think i will be missing my pie crust too much :)


10 Sawsan (Chef in disguise) July 23, 2012

I love summer because of all the fruity desserts and treats :)
This looks like a perfect way to enjoy summer fruit, right out of the oven or from the fridge I think these beauties won’t last long in my house


11 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious July 23, 2012

I’m not much of a pie person either! But these crumbly bars look absolutely amazing!


12 Valerie July 23, 2012

We must be on the same wavelength, I just made some blueberry crumb bars yesterday! :D These bars are stunning!! I love the creative ways you find to incorporate Chambord into your recipes.


13 Averie @ Averie Cooks July 23, 2012

they’re gorgeous – I am a huge fan of crumble-topping or crumble + berry bars and these are so pretty!


14 fabiola@notjustbaked July 23, 2012

You did it again! My mouth is happily watering, and now I am craving blackberries. Way to go girl!


15 Priscilla@ShesCookin July 23, 2012

Ooh, blackberries tossed in Chambord! These bars look heavenly, and I always enjoy a crumb topping :)


16 Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) July 23, 2012

these look so delicious i just want to run to the store right now and get everything to make them…they look incredible!


17 Kiran @ July 23, 2012

I agree. The filing is by far my favorite part of any pie, tart or bars.

These looks positively scrumptious :)


18 Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) July 23, 2012

I love your crumb bars, Laura. I’m still thinking of your apricot ones actually. :) I bet these would be just as good.

Love the tray! I was on ebay last night looking for the perfect vintage silver tray to use on the blog but yours looks like an heirloom. :)


19 Suzanne Perazzini July 23, 2012

This reminds me of happy times on our childhood farm, gathering blackberries along the country lanes. We would arrive home with the baskets and bellies full and black stained mouths. They were usually baked into a great country-style pie by our mother. A great trip down memory lane.


20 Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef July 23, 2012

I will cheerfully eat all your pie!!!

I’d also eat these crumb bars too, they look wonderful. :)


21 Suzanne July 23, 2012

Laura, I swear I think we are on the same wave length in our baking and eating. I had pinned a similar recipe for these bars and was planning to make them with boysenberries! I love berry anything and these bars look fabulous, I can’t wait to try them out!


22 Hotly Spiced July 23, 2012

I always leave a bit of the crust as well – but never the filling. Always eat the filling. What a lovely looking bar. I love cooking with blackberries. What a yummy treat! xx


23 Nami | Just One Cookbook July 24, 2012

You ALWAYS make delicious desserts and I don’t know how you don’t lose your control over eating your DELICIOUS desserts… I’ve been so jealous about your desserts you’ve been making and I truly wish that we live nearby. :D Well, I’m not too picky about what kind of desserts – I love pies, bars, everything, but not so much cake person (unless it’s from a famous bakery or something)… I’ve been especially enjoying your desserts with fresh fruits!


24 Rosa July 24, 2012

Divine bars! Blackberries are so delicious.




25 Minnie(@thelady8home) July 24, 2012

Wowwwww they look Yummyyyyy!!!! Feel like picking up one and put in my mouth hahaha. Thank you so much for sharing it.


26 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 24, 2012

Mmm great move tossing the fruit in Chambourd! I can imagine how delicious this would be. I must admit that I love the crust as much as the fruit but a crumble is my favourite :)


27 Deb July 24, 2012

Such a lush summer recipe! Blackberries are at peak harvest now and this sweet vanilla laced, crumb topped bar would be an irresistible dessert to celebrate the joyful time of summer harvest.


28 The Café Sucré Farine July 24, 2012

Oh yum!! I’m crazy about crumbly fruit desserts and this looks just wonderful! Blackberries just seem to shout summer to me!


29 FreeSpiritEater July 24, 2012

I adore crumb bars! These have the perfect ratio of crumb to fruit lol Bookmarked! =]


30 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction July 24, 2012

I love fruit bars that have a crumb topping!! Such buttery goodness!


31 Sandra's Easy Cooking July 24, 2012

I love these kinds of bars…simple but full of flavor. Great job, they look very very delicious!


32 Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } July 24, 2012

I am with you on the pie sediments – I will eat it, but shortbread crumb bars – now that is singing my song! Yours look simply divine!!!!


33 Ali @ Gimme Some Oven July 24, 2012

Ooooh – I love making blueberry crumb bars. But BLACKBERRY sounds delicious! Yours look so good!!


34 Charles July 24, 2012

Mmm, the rich colours of the fruit make me long for autumn… the hedgerows will be bursting with wonderful blackberries, just ready for the picking. I’m gonna make sure I go early this year to get a good haul before everyone else steals them all :(


35 Liz July 24, 2012

I’m the same way with pie…love the filling, but could skip the crust. I’d much rather eat one of your crumb bars…especially since they’re made with blackberries, mmmmmmmm.


36 Lora @cakeduchess July 24, 2012

Your tray is so pretty and your bars are wonderful. I bet the flavor of the blackberries in the chambord is divine. I would probably get distracted and just eat the berries;)


37 Baker Street July 25, 2012

I LOVE crumb bars especially ones that are filled with berries! A couple of these would be the ideal way to kick start my day! : )


38 Kate July 25, 2012

Beautiful photos! they look very enticing and I love the taste of ripe blackberries in the summer. These look exceptionally appealing.


39 Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies July 25, 2012

Everything you bake looks so fantastic! I’m sure this could be adapted for other fruits/berries, but honestly, blackberries are my all time fav!


40 Alyssa (Everyday Maven) July 25, 2012

I am forwarding this to my Mom – she loves Blackberries so much and will love this!!


41 Magic of Spice July 25, 2012

The filling is always the best part of the pie…and oh how I love shortbread :) These are beyond delightful!


42 Anne@FromMySweetHeart July 25, 2012

Laura…these are just….gorgeous! Funny thing, but a year ago I developed this mad passion for blackberries! So I am really looking forward to trying this scrumptious recipe! : )


43 Nancy/SpicieFoodie July 26, 2012

Gasp! You don’t like the pie crust? Hehe, I love it:) Though a good crumb bar is also hard to beat. I love all the fruit in yours, looks perfect. Thanks for sharing!


44 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts July 26, 2012

I made a blackberry crumb cake last year that was really good, these bars sound even better!


45 marissa @ the boot July 27, 2012

i need these bars in my life! they look fabulous!


46 tanja|scookingcorner July 27, 2012

Oh, I am bookmarking this recipe, this sounds and looks like the perfect dessert for me :) Fantastic!


47 Mercedes July 28, 2012

I am so with you on not being a pie lover Laura! These bars look so oozy and yummy! What a great way to use summer berries!


48 brighteyedbaker July 28, 2012

I love pie crust, but I love crumble topping just as much. The blackberries added to the crumb topping sound so delicious. Plus, bars are much more convenient eating than pies, right?! :)



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