Monday, November 22, 2010

Blueberry Walnut Bars

Or, as I like to call them, Blueblerry Blars! This recipe is based on one from the Lunds & Byerly's free magazine, Real Food. These make a great breakfast or post-gym snack. Soon I will work on some other fillings, like apple or cherry.

~2.5 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen (or a whole 12 oz. bag)
1/4 c.white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon zest

1 c. walnuts, whole or in pieces
1.5 c. AP flour
1 heaping cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 c. white sugar
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. melted, unsalted butter (1.5 sticks)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Trust me--this recipe will be a lot easier if you use the paper.

Place the walnuts on the baking pan and put them in the oven to toast for 5-10 minutes. They will become fragrant and make squealing noises. Make sure they don't start to burn. Remove from the oven to cool when they are done. Chop coarsely.

(TIP: I melted the butter at this point by placing it in a metal bowl in the oven while the nuts were roasting).

Combine the 1/4 c. white sugar and cornstarch in a heavy saucepan and stir in the blueberries and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently and mashing the berries a bit, until the sauce thickens (~5 minutes). Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, 1/3 c. white sugar, 1/3c. brown sugar, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar, and walnuts. Stir in the melted butter and combine well.

Press two thirds of the oat mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the parchment-lined pan. Spread the blueberry mixture over it. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top.

Bake at 350° until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Allow the dessert to cool completely in the pan. Pull the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Cut into 2" squares.

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