Last year we decided to plant a few blackberry bushes next to our slightly seasoned (3 years old) raspberry bushes. They took off, growing and branching out all last summer. This year, Jeff pruned them before the season and they went CRAZY! the blackberry bushes doubled. We kept laughing at all the blossoms saying, we are going to have a ton of blackberries. Well, maybe not a ton but we have had numerous 6-8 cup pickings and we have found some delicious recipes to use them with.
This morning, as Jeff was making our favorite Classic Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberries, I was looking for a recipe for blackberries. I was also watching Jeff steal some of my blackberries for the pancakes. I had one of each and I think the pancakes with blackberries were better. (YUM!)
I found this Blackberry Breakfast Bars on Oregon-Berries.com. It looked easy and had some of my favorite ingredients: brown sugar, oatmeal and cinnamon. I started by cooking the blackberries with sugar, water, lemon juice and cinnamon. While that was cooking I was able to make the crust - flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and baking soda. I melted the butter, mixed it into the dry ingredients and had the crust in the oven before the blackberry filling was cooked.
They smelled amazing coming out of the oven. I couldn't wait to get a knife into them and have a taste. After walking the dog, the blackberry bars had cooled and we cut a few squares. They were crunchy and chewy and the sourness of the blackberries was balanced with the sweet crust and topping. It is definitely one of those recipes that makes you cut a sliver to taste, and then another sliver...and then one more sliver because they are soooo good!
They may be a breakfast bar, but they are also a great snack. Blackberries are good for you, as is oatmeal. It makes breakfast better than a muffin or a slice of toast. Also, think different flavors - you can substitute blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, peaches, and or pears for the blackberries. You can also mix a few together. I'll let you decide. No matter how you make them, you'll love them.
Blackberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars - Adapted from Oregon-Berries.com
4 cups fresh blackberries
4 tablespoons of sugar
4 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
For filling - In a medium saucepan combine berries, sugar, water, lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncover, for about 8 minutes or till slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
Oatmeal Bar Base and Topping:
2 cups of rolled oats
1-1/3 cups of brown sugar, slightly packed
2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of butter, melted
For crust - In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir in melted butter, mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside 2 cups of the oat mixture for top. Press remaining oat mixture into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake in a 350° oven for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden.
Carefully spread filling on top of baked crust. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. Lightly press oat mixture into filling. Bake in the 350° oven for 15-20 minutes more or until topping is set and golden.
Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Makes 36 bars.