Monday, June 9, 2014

Berries and Cream Pie Bars

      I thought after having graduated from college, summer would slightly fall in its excitement levels. I figured when I no longer had the pure bliss of finishing a year of strenuous mental work and serious stress balancing skills in sight, summer would just drift in without a major wave of happiness. However, I am finding a certain overwhelming joy with the world right now, and summer has not lost any of its excitement. Trips to see family and explore new places are in planning, there is camping to be done and I just can't help but want to be outside and do more with my days when the sun wakes up and hangs out with me longer.
        Part of summers serious bliss though, is the return of summer produce and farmers markets. I don't know if you guys have been eating fistfuls of blueberries too, but I can't seem to get enough.
        These bars are packed with blueberries, mildly sweet crumbles and crust, and a creamy blending of those two things brought together by some fruity yogurt. If you live in Colorado, I sincerely hope you have tried Noosa yogurt (if you don't live here, I know it is becoming increasingly available around the country). It is the most creamy, delicious, heaven sent yogurt and it is the perfect accompaniment to bring a mildly sweet and flavorful velvetiness to middle of these bars.
        They make a delicious snack, a tasty dessert topped with ice cream, or in the morning, use a little bit more of that yogurt to top for an easy breakfast. They are good at room temperature, but I absolutely loved them cold out of the fridge! It made them super refreshing for the hot summer days.
Note: If you don't have Noosa, as the recipe notes, any full-fat, flavored Greek yogurt will do.
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c old fashion rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg

4 c fresh blueberries
1/2 c sugar
3 tsp cornstarch
2 large eggs
1 c (8 ounces) full-fat Greek raspberry yogurt (or sub other flavor, I think lemon would be awesome!)
       ---I recommend Noosa Yogurt if you can get your hands on it!
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1. Grease a 9x13 pan and preheat the oven to 375F
2. For the crust: in the bowl of a food processor, combine the sugar, baking powder, flour, 1 cup of the oats, and salt. Pulse a few times.
3. Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture resembles a course crumble with pea sized clumps. Add the egg and pulse a few more times to incorporate. It will still have a crumbly texture.
4. Divide the crumbs in half and pour one half into the base of the greased baking dish. Press it down and around the sides to create a thick and even layer. Set the rest aside.
5. For the filling: Mix together the sugar, blueberries and cornstarch in a medium bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, and lemon juice and zest.
6. Pour the blueberries over the top of the crust and spread evenly. Pour the yogurt mixture over the berries, making sure it reaches all over the dish to the corners.
7. Top the berries with the second half of the crumbles, scattering them about in cover the entire dish. Finally, sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 C oats.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top has a slight golden brown. Allow the dish to cool before cutting. They can be served warm, room temp or (my personal favorite) cold from the fridge. Delicious with milk, yogurt or ice cream :)
Bonus: Here you can spot the two cactus I have managed to keep alive for a whole 6 months now! 
 Boulder Butter

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