Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Adapted from the recipe by Jaclyn Bell, cookingclassy.com

As the author wrote about this recipe, “These bars have an irresistible crumb topping and a gooey fruit filling. It’s the perfect dessert to make when rhubarb is in season.

START TO FINISH: 1 hour (15 minutes active)

SERVINGS: 12

INGREDIENTS:

Crumb layers
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Filling
1 3/4 cups hulled and diced strawberries
1 1/2 cups diced rhubarb, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

DIRECTIONS:

For the crumb layer:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9” x 9” baking dish and line with parchment paper. (If you don’t care to lift the bars out of the pan before cutting, you can just butter the dish, no parchment needed.)
In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add in oats, brown sugar and granulated sugar and whisk to blend, using fingertips to break up small clumps of brown sugar.
Whisk vanilla into melted butter and pour melted butter over oat mixture. Stir with a spatula until mixture is evenly moistened.
Press 2/3 of the mixture into prepared baking dish, set aside remaining 1/3.

For the filling:
Add diced strawberries and rhubarb to a medium mixing bowl. Toss with lemon juice.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Pour sugar mixture over strawberry mixture and toss to coat.
Pour strawberry mixture over bottom crumb layer in baking dish. Evenly sprinkle remaining 1/3 crumb mixture over top.
Bake in preheated oven until top is golden brown and crisp and filling is bubbling, about 45 to 50 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack until warm then cut into squares. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if desired.

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