Rhubarb Streusel Bars


Wanting to broaden my horizons about rhubarb, my search led to this recipe from Martha Stewart. Something easy to put together, to be eaten for breakfast, lunch or… face it – anytime. Perfect! Other than making some delicious compotes that included rhubarb, I’ve never really done much with it.

We used to grow in on the farm, Mom having it close at hand in the flower bed, right outside the kitchen door. Ditto with her chives! As kids we used to eat the rhubarb raw, dipping the cut end in sugar and enjoying the crunchy sweetness against the tang.

 


Looks like this recipe mimics that, with the sweetness of the streusel balancing the rhubarb’s zing. Maybe I’ve been craving something from childhood. Come to think of it, Mom also used to make a yeast, raisin cake that she topped with streusel. Loved the streusel part. For those of us that didn’t like the included raisins, we had some work to do to pick those out – always to Mom’s dismay. Still don’t like raisins inside desserts… but will still eat most anything topped with streusel!

Rhubarb Streusel Bars

You could use half strawberries and half rhubarb – another food match made in heaven. The only change I made to the recipe, was adding a big pinch of cinnamon to the rhubarb mixture. I feel it adds warmth & background depth to most fruits, especially if they’re cooked or baked.

Ingredients:

For The Streusel:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (plus some to grease the pan)
1 cup all purpose flour (plus more to dust the pan)
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
 
For the Rhubarb:
1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
 
For The Cake/Base:
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350º. Butter an 8 inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang on two sides. Butter and flour parchment and pan, tapping out excess flour.

The streusel: whisk together butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

The rhubarb: in a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, brown sugar and flour. 

 
The cake/base: in another medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder & salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter & icing sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with the rhubarb mixture, then top with the streusel. (If you find it’s too much for your liking, refrigerate some for another use).

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake from pan and cut into desired sizes.

 

An offset spatula is useful here.

The crunchy rhubarb becomes very soft during baking! 

Sprinkle the streusel over the rhubarb.

Sweet & crunchy streusel topping!

 

Tastes of Spring~

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