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Jul 2, 2011 07:40 PM

Recipe for Blueberry Bars Needed

I am looking for a recipe for a blueberry strusel bar that emphasizes blueberries and not the streusel topping but still holds together. Most recipes are heavy on cream cheese. Any suggestions?

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  1. do you want blueberry *crumb* bars or blueberry *cheesecake* bars? because regular crumb bars don't often call for cream cheese.

    assuming you want crumb bars, try one of these:

    20 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I second the one from smitten kitchen. I've gotten nothing but rave reviews on that one.

      1. re: SAHCook

        Me too. just the right balance between fruit and crumb. If the berries are nice I cut the sugar in the filling by half.

        1. re: magiesmom

          Me the touch of lemon in them too. Took them to a picnic last night and not one was left.

          1. re: vafarmwife

            Me four. I made those a few weeks ago and they were excellent!

            1. re: ForFoodsSake

              Made this for dinner at friends' last night and everyone loved them. I added a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. Will definitely make again.

        2. re: SAHCook

          SK's adaptation works well with any berry or berry combo. I use raw sugar over white but otherwise following it to the t. Delicious and super easy.

          1. re: HillJ

            Just remembered subbing 1 cup of canned almond paste for the cup of butter in one version with blueberry/raspberry to delish result some time ago as well.

          2. re: SAHCook

            Do you think the smitten kitchen recipe would work with peaches or a combination of peaches and blueberries?

            1. re: rockycat

              Fresh, peeled peaches and fresh blueberries sounds delicious. I think any 4 cups of fresh fruit would work in this recipe. Even fresh peaches and a lovely blueberry jam combo would work.

              I forgot to mention earlier than I have always added cinnamon (& I happen to adore nutmeg) to this base recipe. I don't understand why it's not included...even a bit of vanilla bean goes into my bars ...but personal preference be thy guide.

              1. re: HillJ

                It seems nearly everyone agrees with you. I just Googled "Peach Crumble Bars" and nearly every recipe I opened credited smitten kitchen''s original recipe. That's a good enough endorsement for me. The blackberries have been good this year and I may get some raspberries from the yard. I think I know where this is going.

                1. re: HillJ

                  +1 on either the vanilla, or (to me) even better, almond extracts.

                  1. re: pine time

                    Touche. If I use raspberry fruit or jam I'll go almond extract, otherwise it's vanilla bean seeds. With peach I'll use a peach liquor on occasion. But cinnamon is a must for me on these types of fruit bars.

                2. re: rockycat

                  I haven't made these yet, but SK has a recipe for peach shortbread that she adapted from her blueberry bar recipe :

                  1. re: SAHCook

                    Thanks. The photo alone is worth it.

                3. re: SAHCook

                  I have made these a few times as well and really like them, especially chilled in the fridge. I have always used all frozen blueberries and never a problem. I will make them for a picnic this weekend, need to finish off the rest of last seasons blueberries as I will be picking fresh soon:) I too like to add some vanilla and cinnamon.

                4. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Thank you. The Smitten Kitchen recipe sounds on target. The blog mentioned below discussiong Martha Stewart's jam bars, which uses some almond flour sounds interesting, but there's no recipe.

                  1. re: nance

                    Oh geez Nance. I'm sorry. I just saw it was a post on it and thought a recipe would be at the bottom. I'll post it later tonight.

                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    These are vibrant and beautiful.... can't wait to make them. For a gathering for the 4th, perfect. Thanks for posting the topic, nance, and the link, ghg.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I made the SK blueberry crumb bars tonight after reading about them and drinking in those photos on SK's page late last night. They certainly seemed to dazzle my group of friends, all merrily gobbling them up. The color is just so passionately summery, and the flavor matches. Love how the lemon is just a hint, but balances the sweetness and the buttery crumbles. I am always a fan of lemon pretty much anywhere.

                      So, thanks for a great recipe! I will make these again and again -- I may try 1/2 brown sugar in the crust next time. Maybe add some chopped nuts to the crunchy top. Pistachios, like the berry crisp I make, or almonds. Maybe not, though, as they are perfect right now. I like that they keep in the fridge too! I envision myself sneaking in to grab one any minute now...

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Thank you for the suggestion! I make very good blueberry pie with a combination of fresh and cooked blueberries. I am going to dinner at friend's on Thursday and thought it would be nice to bring these bars. I have somewhat old blueberries that I cooked just now loosely following Fancy Pantry recipe for blueberry conserve (with orange juice and zest, lemon juice, cinnamon and allspice). Once cooled tomorrow, will mix with nice fresh ones and proceed with the recipe. Smells amazing!:) Will let you know how it turned out and received.

                      2. I use Martha Stewart's jam crumb bar recipe from Baking with Martha Stewart. She calls for apricot or strawberry jam, I think, but I make homemade blueberry when I make these. They are very, very good and always a hit.

                        Here's an online link to the recipe:

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: debbiel

                          Debbie, could you paraphrase the recipe, please?! I would love to make this with my grandsons when I will be spending alone time with them (one at a time!) in August. The site says if you want an actual recope, buy the book...

                          1. re: debbiel

                            Sorry about that folks. Here's the recipe, paraphrased from the book:

                            3 sticks unsalted butter: room temp, cut into pieces (you'll also need more for the pan)
                            2 1/4 c. (11 ounces) blanched almonds, very finely ground
                            3 c. ap flour
                            1 1/4 c sugar
                            1/2 tsp salt
                            1 3/4 c. jam (she includes raspberry, apricot, or strawberry; i've only made it with blueberry--usually homemade, made just for these, but with a high quality jarred blueberry jam once)

                            Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 15x10 inch rimmed baking sheet*. Line with parchment paper. Leave an overhang on the sides, 1 inch.

                            Whisk together ground almonds, flour, sugar, salt. Cut in the butter until you have coarse crumbs. Use fingers to squeeze the mixture together, creating pea-size crumbs with some larger clumps.

                            Transfer half of the mix (~4.5 c.) to the baking sheet. Cover it with parchment paper. Press the dough evenly and firmly into the pan. She suggests using the back of a spoon and then a wine bottle or small rolling pin. I think I used a can of beans last week. You want it to be firmly packed with no holes or cracks. Make sure you do this all the way to the edges.

                            Bake this until lightly golden all over, about 15 to 20 minutes. Rotate halfway through the cooking time. Cool completely on wire rack.

                            Spread the jam over the cooled crust. Then scatter the remaining mixture on top of the jam. Squeeze it a bit as you scatter it so that you have clumps of various sizes. Bake 20 to 22 minutes**, until the topping begins to turn light golden brown. (She says the jam shouldn't be too dark, but , well, mine already is when it goes in). Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

                            Lift up with the parchment overhang and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into bars (she says 3x2; I make mine a little smaller).

                            Can keep in airtight container at room temp for 4 days. Or so Martha says. They've never lasted that long here.

                            *I actually use a 12.25x9 inch small jelly pan. It's the closest thing I have to the 15x10. I end up using about 3/4 of the crumb mixture when I bake these (then I just bake the rest off in a single layer to enjoy in some other way).

                            **It takes longer than this for me. It was at 29 minutes last week. I'm not sure why. The oven seems to be working properly for other things, and I don't think I'm scattering it too thickly.

                            1. re: debbiel

                              While this looks ok, I'd go for the recipe that uses 4c of berries instead of 1.5 cup jam since op wants to emphasize the berries

                              1. re: debbiel

                                I've made these a couple of times and they are really good. I've subbed hazelnut flour for the almonds, as I had it on hand and wanted to use it up. I would use almond flour too, just makes it easier to throw together.
                                Sometimes I double it and make them in a half sheet tray, with three different jams, side by side.
                                I like the idea of making blueberry jam out of OPs blueberries and then making these, but I think I'll try SK's recipe today. I've got a 15 year old staying with me that loves dessert.

                            2. I made SK's recipe yesterday and I thought they were great. I used three cups of blueberries and 1 cup of frozen blackberries. The frozen fruit gave off quite a bit of liquid once it was combined with the cornstarch and sugar (it was a hot day, so the fruit thawed quickly), anyway, I drained off most of the liquid and scattered a bit more cornstarch over the fruit.
                              I cut back on the sugar by half in both the fruit and crust. I probably shouldn't have cut both back, they could have used the sweetness to be more appealing to the teenager I made them for, but I liked them not so sweet. They would be good with coffee, and they went well with my glass of red wine too.