Oh, Smitten Kitchen, your timing is always perfect. I had just come home from the Farmer's Market yesterday with an armload of rhubarb and here was this recipe in my inbox for Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp bars. I love it when things are meant to be in the kitchen. These little babies smelled so heavenly as they bubbled up in the oven, and the memory is even sweeter for me because it was the first time EVER in the history of my motherhood adventure that I was able to allow both of my children to be outdoors on the playset/in the sandbox while I was inside. The windows were open and I could hear (and see) them playing happily together while I baked in peace. This is big stuff for our family, and definitely a wonderful Mother's Day gift for me. Their little self-entertaining play time lasted for nearly 3 hours, and after I baked, I cleaned the living room and kitchen, and enjoyed the newspaper and magazine with one of these warm bars and a cup of coffee. So, it's possible that I will forever associate these bars with this giddy feeling of daytime domestic productivity. These bars were awesome straight from the oven, awesome last night with a scoop of ice cream, and they were awesome this morning as breakfast. Bet you can't guess what I will be making as my contribution to the end of year Bible study brunch on Friday....
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars
-2 cups rolled oats
-1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
-1 cup light brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon table salt
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-12 T unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
-2 teaspoons cornstarch
-2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
-2 T. sugar, divided
-2 cups rhubarb, diced small
-2 cups strawberries, diced small
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and mix. Pour melted butter over, and stir until clumps form. Set 1 cup of this crumble aside. Press the rest of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.
Spread half the fruit over the crust. Sprinkle it evenly with cornstarch, then lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Spread remaining fruit over this, and top with second tablespoon sugar. Scatter reserved crumbs over fruit and bake bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until fruit is bubbly and crisp portion is golden and smells heavenly. Let cool in pan and cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Store leftovers in fridge.