Sunday, August 17, 2014

Blackberry Pie Bars

These Blackberry Pie Bars are absolutely amazing! Plus they were easy breezy to make. What could be better? If you like blackberries, you're guaranteed to love these. Just look at them!

I found this recipe while searching on Pinterest. My blackberry bushes are exploding with blackberries, so I was specifically looking for blackberry dessert recipes. I found a winner on Tracey's Culinary Adventure. Her blackberry pie bars looked amazing. I just had to try them and I'm so glad I did. You should be glad too. 

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 Cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold butter, cut into small cubes

2 large eggs
1 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
pinch of salt
zest of 1/2 lemon (I didn't have a lemon to zest, so I added a few drops of lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (You can use vanilla if you don't like almond)
16 oz fresh blackberries

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8x8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. (I was tempted to use line the pan with parchment paper, but didn't. It was fine using the spray.)

Add the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and continue pulsing until the pieces of butter are very small and the mixture is crumbly. Put aside 3/4 cup of this mixture. It will be used as the topping. Dump the remainder of the mixture into the pan and press into an even layer to form the crust.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and brown. Remove pan and place on a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes. 

It still amazes me that I can use a food processor to cut in the butter. It works so well. 

After the crust is out of the oven and cooling, begin to make the filling. 

In a mixing bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, sour cream, flour, salt, lemon zest, and almond extract. Make sure it is well combined. Use a spatula to fold in the blackberries. Spread the filling mixture over the crust. Make sure the blackberries are spread out evenly. Crumble the reserved crust mixture over the blackberry mixture. 

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the bars are set. The topping won't really get golden brown, so no worries. When they are done, let the pan cool on a wire rack and cool completely. To make the bars easier to cut, put the pan in the refrigerator for a while.

Here's a picture of these delicious bars again. You know, just in case you forgot how good they look.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chocolate Pudding Cake

It's been a while since I posted something. I have a good reason...I was on vacation in the beautiful Montana. If you haven't been to northwest Montana you're missing out. I go every summer for a family reunion at the lake.

I needed to continue to train for my marathon while in Montana. The first couple of days, it was super smokey outside. This asthma girl can't run in the smoke. I did yoga inside instead. I made welcomed my family to join. I think they had tons of fun, even my little niece tried some poses.

The beginning.

The end.

After the reunion, I chilled at my grandma's house for a few days. I also did some much needed clothes shopping. Montana has no sales tax which makes shopping even better!

Did I mention that I went Huckleberry picking...twice. Huckleberries are the most delicious berry out there. I am so making a Huckleberry pie soon and other goodies. Don't worry, I'll share, well the recipes at least. :)

 Picking Huckleberries.

It takes a while to clean pick them, but it is so worth it.

My niece is helping pick berries. Her "real" job was to watch for bears. She did a great job and even crawled like a bear to keep them away. Thanks to her hard work, we didn't come across any.

 Look at all these berries!

Now to the   Chocolate Pudding Cake

My mom has been making this since before I can even remember. I believe that my grandma made it for her as a kid. Now I'm sharing this secret family recipe with you. 

1 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
2 t. baking powder
3 T. baking cocoa
3/4 c. milk

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 T. baking cocoa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix batter ingredients together and pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish. 

In a separate bowl, mix together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the batter. 

Pour 2 cups HOT water over the entire thing. 

Now for the secret. (Recite an appropriate chant, if any are known, otherwise say Better Crocker backwards three times.)

Bake for 30 minutes.
Serves 12

This recipe works great cut in half or doubled. 

Try it out and tell me what you think!