Summer berries–can you guys ever get enough? I know I can’t. I love them pretty much any way I can get them. Any meal of the day, snack time, cocktail hour, fresh, or cooked–I love summer berries.
I’ve had my eye on these bars for quite some time. They incorporate so many things I love–almonds, butter, blueberries, and homemade granola. (The granola is great, by the way. If your family is into yogurt and granola for breakfast or snacks, you may want to double to batch.) I added a generous amount of fresh summer blueberries and WOW! Each bite brings a burst of fresh blueberry juice and an unmistakably summery flavor. Blueberry bonanza indeed.
Blueberry Bonanza Bars
slightly adapted from Martha Stewart, Holiday Cookies 2005
For the granola:
2 TBSP unsalted butter
2 TBSP honey
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 TBSP water
1 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
1/3 c. slivered almonds
1/4 c. flaked coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, your choice)
For the bars:
1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted
2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. blueberry jam
1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries
1. To make the granola: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and honey together. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 TBSP water. In a separate medium bowl, stir together oats, almonds, and coconut. Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and stir to combine.
2. Spread mixture out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack. Keeps in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.
3. To make the bars: Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil, leaving a 2-in. overhang on all sides. Spray with cooking or baking spray.
4. Process almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture looks like coarse sand.
5. In a small bowl, lightly beat together egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. With food processor running, add egg mixture through the chute and process just until clumps form. Pat dough into bottom of prepared baking dish and refrigerate until cold and firm, approximately 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prick dough with a fork and bake until edges are just golden, 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
7. Spread jam over base then top with fresh berries and half of the granola (about 1 c.). Bake until top is browned and jam is bubbling, approximately 30 minutes. Let bars cool, in the pan, on a wire rack. Cut into 2-in. squares. Keep on the counter, covered, 1 day or in the refrigerator up to one week.
Yields: 24 pieces