Monday, April 27, 2009

Rhubarb Crumb Bars, or Why I'm Not Allowed to Buy Any More Rhubarb

I'll admit it, I have a problem. I have an obsession with buying fruits and vegetables when they're in season. Now, this wouldn't be a problem normally, except that I purchase to excess, because hey, what if I want to make some form of baked good that requires out of season berries in December? Enter Rhubarb: I don't have a Rhubarb plant, and when it was in season in the farmer's market down here, I bought tons of it and froze it. Almost a year later, I still have about 6 pounds of it, all nicely chopped. To be honest, I'd forgotten about it. Thank goodness for the kitchn's Kitchen Cure. I also found Lobster, and I made macaroni and cheese with it, but the pictures were crap.

Rhubarb Crumb Bars
From Everyday Food Magazine

For the streusel topping:
6 tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
0.5 c. packed brown sugar
0.25 tsp. salt

For the cake:
0.5 lb. rhubarb, cut into 0.5 inch pieces
1 tbs. brown sugar
1 c. all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
0.5 tsp. baking powder
0.25 tsp. salt
0.5 c (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 c. confectioner's sugar
2 large eggs
0.5 tsp. vanilla extract

* Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter an 8-inch square pan, and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang on two sides. Butter and flour parchment paper, tapping out excess flour.
* Make the streusel: Whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until crumbly. Stick 'er in the fridge until ready to use.
* Make the cake (yay cake!): Combine rhubarb, brown sugar and 0.25 c. flour in a medium bowl. In another bowl combine remaining 0.75 c. flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, adding eggs one at a time. Turn the mixer on to low, and add vanilla, then dry ingredients. Spread the batter in prepared pan, topping with rhubarb mixture, and finally, the streusel.
* Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached, 45 - 50 minutes. Let cool completely, the slice and enjoy.

So, there are a couple of changes I would make to this next time (good thing I have 5.5 more pounds of rhubarb): Up the amount of rhubarb a little bit, and coarsely chop half of it. That would get the rhubarb more evenly distributed over the bars. Looking at the recipe now, I think I forgot to use confectioner's sugar, so I'd probably try it again with that.

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