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Blackberry Almond Granola Bars

June 14, 2011

I realize I’ve done a LOT with blackberries so far so I promise this is the last one for the summer.  Ha! Who am I kidding, I was just dreaming of vanilla bean pound cake cupcakes with blackberry frosting!  What can I say, I like blackberries 🙂  I’m actually dedicating these as an early birthday treat for my sister who turns 20 on Saturday!!  I could write a million and one things about our times together and how incredibly sweet and fun she is-in fact I’ve re-typed this about a dozen times already.  But since I couldn’t possibly condense our relationship down to a few lines I’ll simply say, Happy Birthday Vesta!!  Here’s to another year of baking, eating, shopping, tennis, snl skits, walks, laughter, tears and hugs.  I look forward to “all of it!”! (OK, I know you’re not supposed to use inside jokes on a blog but hey, its my blog, I’ll write what I like!)

This is another Martha Stewart original that I’ve had bookmarked for 100 years and combine two of my sisters favorite things: berries and almonds.  This not-too-sweet, well-balanced, fruity, nutty bar was originally made with blueberries.  Blueberries are our least favorite berry though so some tweaking was in order.  I changed the jam to blackberry and added some fresh berries in as well.  The result is a very summer-y treat that would make a fantastic end to a picnic lunch.

finely grind some toasted almonds

pulse in the rest of the dry ingredients

drizzle in some egg and vanilla and mix just until the dough begins to clump together

press the dough in the pan, refrigerate, prick and bake

melt  some butter and honey together and whisk in brown sugar and water

drizzle the honey mixture into some oats, coconut and almonds to make the granola topping

my little helpers concentrating hard on spreading the jam on the shortbread crust

top with some fresh berries and the granola and bake until bubble and golden brown

Yumm!!

Blackberry Almond Granola Bars
Adapted from Martha Stewarts Blueberry Bonanza Bars

Ingredients:

Vegetable-oil cooking spray
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups blackberry jam
6 ounces blackberries

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

1. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, with ends of paper extending over opposite sides of pan. Repeat with second piece of paper in opposite direction. Coat each layer with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Process almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter; process until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

3. Lightly beat egg, egg yolk, and vanilla in a small bowl. With processor running, add egg mixture; process just until clumps form.  Gently knead the dough by hand just until there is no dry crumbly pieces left. Pat dough into bottom of dish; refrigerate until firm and cold, about 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Prick dough all over with a fork and bake until the edges are golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

5. While the crust is cooling prepare the granola.  Melt together butter and honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Add sugar; stir until sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons water. In a large bowl stir together oats, almonds, and coconut. Pour butter mixture over oat mixture; stir until combined.

6. Spread jam over crust; top with blackberries and then the granola. Bake until jam is bubbling and granola topping is browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Lift out the bars by the parchment paper and cut into 2-inch squares.  Enjoy!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Angie permalink
    June 14, 2011 5:17 pm

    They look delish! Happy early birthday to Vesta!

  2. Vesta permalink
    June 14, 2011 9:39 pm

    Thank you Linda! They were sooo good, I wanted “all of it!” LOL
    Love you!

  3. June 15, 2011 1:14 pm

    Glad you chose blackberries, I have not seen many recipes with that fruit. These look good and healthy. Looks like your kids had a blast in the kitchen and Happy birthday to Vesta-lucky girl to have these treats!

  4. June 19, 2011 4:06 pm

    These look like they’d travel well also, double yumness! Hope Vesta had a great birthday.

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