Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Blueberry Breakfast Bar

My first job was picking blueberries. Really. At that time, Harper's Blueberry Farm paid 50 cents for every picked and sorted pound of blueberries one could manage. I remember going home with more money than any of my friends, but only because they ate half their berries whereas I had to make myself eat mine. I prefer my blueberries warm and oozing and surrounded by sugar, thank you very much. Sad, but true.

That's probably why, after my recent berry picking adventure, I immediately began searching for a few different ways to bake these bright blue jewels. And by different I mean not cobbler, pie, or muffin. After perfecting a heavenly Pecan Blueberry Pancake (to be featured in my aforementioned foodbook), I was still hoping for something... something... well, something that would be equally welcome as a leisurely dessert, a mid-day nibble, or a quick breakfast. I found it, courtesy of Susan, a fellow farmgirl and foodie. This, then, is my adaptation of her delicious recipe, and what I'll continue to do with the blueberries, nutmeg, and vanilla beans hanging around the Freeman House kitchen...

Blueberry Breakfast Bars
Adapted from Farmgirl Fare

2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup flour (all-purpose)
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
10 T. (1 stick plus 2 T.) butter, melted
1 t. vanilla (or ½ vanilla bean, split and seeded)

Berries (Middle Layer)
3 ½ cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 t. almond extract (I use vanilla sometimes instead)
1 cup sugar
3 T. flour
½ t. nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon

1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
5 T. butter, cold

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Generously grease a 9" x 13" baking dish. For the crust, in a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix in melted butter and vanilla until combined. Press evenly into the bottom of your greased baking dish.

Next, tumble blueberries into the bowl you just emptied. Add almond extract and stir lightly until coated. Pour berries evenly over pan’s bottom layer. Combine sugar, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over blueberries.

For the topping, use a fork or pastry blender to combine flour, brown sugar, and butter until it resembles large crumbs and clumps. Sprinkle over berries.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake another 20-25 minutes or until top is golden and edges begin to turn brown. Don’t over bake.

Let bars cool before cutting and storing in airtight container or refrigerator. Bars may be individually wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months.

Yum. If you have any berries lying around the kitchen, I urge you: try these. If you don't, keep an eye out for the frozen ones to go on sale. It's worth it. These bars are delicious warm, cold, and everywhere in between. (And of course, ice cream, whipped cream, and extra cinnamon don't hurt either.)
Hope you enjoy! -Brin


Mrs. JoAnne Mabey said...

i loved them. joseph loved them. he only let me eat two total. that means he had like 4. rude. they are YUMMY!!! thanks for the recipe- we (he) are very excited. :)

BellaColle said...

Yum! I will definatly try this, I have a few bushes that might produce next year.. thank you for sharing

Melissa said...

They look delicious. Fresh blueberries are in season right now and we have 1 carton on hand, but would need more for these. Last week I made blueberry lemon muffins, and your bars will be just the thing to make with the next batch! I'm right with you on the raw blueberries vs. sugared up blueberries!

Susan said...

Looks yummy

Unknown said...

Don't you just love Susan's food blog, another Missouri girl! lol Oh my, that recipe was such a tease, now I want blue berries!

Anonymous said...

I do love blueberries! I buy them.. then eat them on my drive home from the grocery store...lucky if any are left by the time I get home!!
I will definetly make this recipe, I like anything with blueberries and this recipe looks divine!
I'm off to bake...

Adrienne said...

Brin -
Thank you for this recipe. Perfect timing! Someone just gave me some blueberries so I will make these later today. I thought of making muffins but they are so 'routine' around here. These breakfast bars will be appreciated. My sweetheart starts a very labor-intensive, hard job at my dear mother's house tomorrow in order to allow her to keep living there. I know he would appreciate having something special for breakfast in the morning!

Jan Thomason said...

Brin, wow, you've been busy blogging!!!
That was fun reading and I am anxious to try your blueberry recipe! I have some frozen blueberries in the freezer that are just waiting to be made into something fabulous!
Wanted to let you know that I have added your blog to my blogspot, www.polkadotbarn.blogspot.com, and will be keeping up with you from now on!


Anonymous said...

I am finding your fruity food just too delicious and quite humorous, coming from an unfruity daughter. So, I am hoping you'll come to love fruit in your lifetime. It's just too delicious not to love. See you in the funny pages!

Linnee said...

I can't wait to try these. They look absolutely scrumptious!

Lindy :)

Jen Kershner said...

I just happened upon your blog today for the very first time and what a funny coincidence so I posted on blueberries today as well! Love your blog and I will be back often to visit.

Farmgirl Susan said...

Your blueberry bars are beautiful! So glad you're enjoying my recipe. : )