Blackberry Crumble Bars

Blackberry Crumble Bars

From June 9, 2007:  I made these treats this morning for my hubby and son to take to a party this afternoon.  I thought they were really good, although a bit messy (crumbly). I adapted this recipe from one I found using raspberry jam and walnuts on the familyfun.com site.

Blackberry Crumble Bars

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut up
1/2 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant oatmeal)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup blackberry jam (preferably seedless)

Heat the oven to 375°. Grease a 9- by 9-inch baking pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until well blended. Add the flour and salt and beat just until the dough forms clumps. Don’t overmix. Turn out the dough onto a piece of waxed paper. Lightly flour your hands and squeeze the dough into a ball (the warmth of your hands will soften the dough enough to hold it together).

Divide the dough into thirds. Crumble one third into a bowl and set it aside. Press the remaining two thirds evenly into the greased pan and bake it on the center oven rack for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the dough are lightly golden. Set the pan on a wire rack.  While the dough cools, add the oats and pecans to the reserved dough in the bowl and pinch the ingredients together so that the mixture becomes crumbly.

Spread the blackberry jam on the baked shortbread (it’s OK if the dough is still warm), then cover the jam with an even layer of the crumb topping. Bake the bars for 20 to 24 minutes, until the top crumbs are golden brown, then set the pan back on the wire cooling rack.  While the shortbread is still slightly warm, cut it into 21/4-inch squares. Once the bars cool completely (they are very fragile while warm), lift them from the pan with a spatula.

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