This recipe actually began as a happy accident since we had no brown sugar in the house, so we had to make do with what we had. We were getting ready to head off to a party and needed something to bring so we didn’t show up empty handed! Typically we are tasked with bringing a drink of some kind as a result of all the fun cocktails we share on the blog, but this day they needed desserts, so we figured we could come up with something that would satisfy a sweet tooth. Our host isn’t a big fan of chocolate so we figured that blueberry streusel bars would be a hit.
Blueberries and buttery sweet streusel makes for a great combination, but when you add it as a topping on a crispy shortbread bar, this becomes a really great dessert! Crispy and rich, the shortbread base is perfect for the blueberry filling, firm enough to hold up to the juicy sweet filling, but still soft enough to be tender. The original recipe called for brown sugar to be used, but since we were out (one really should check to make sure they have all the ingredients in your pantry!) we doubled the granulated sugar, which gave it a good crunch when it was done baking. The streusel topping is made out of the same dough as the shortbread bar, but rather than press the dough like we did for the bar, we kept the dough in the crumbed state that you get when you cut in the butter.
We wanted to really punch up the blueberry flavor, and making the filling from scratch let us keep a fresh blueberry flavor while keeping some of the pop of a whole blueberry. A splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice brings just the right hint of tart to help balance the sweetness of the filling. Juicy and sweet, the filling is gooey enough to keep the streusel in place which is nice when you have kids that are very enthusiastic about eating these bars!
- Crust and Crumble:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 4-5 cups frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- dash of lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x11 baking pan, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine blueberries, sugar and cornstarch and let sit until you are ready to add to the pan.
- Combine sugar, baking powder and flour in the mixer, or by using a hand mixer. Add butter, egg and vanilla until it resembles coarse crumbs. Pat half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan, reserving the rest for the topping.
- Spread out the blueberry mixture on top of the crust. You may have left over sugar and cornstarch that didn't dissolve, sprinkle this evenly over the top of the berries.
- Crumble the rest of the dough evenly over the top of the blueberries.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting.
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