Summer Fruit Cobbler Bars
Ok, so confession: I have a bit of a sweet tooth. Or maybe a whole mouth full of them. But anyway, sweets are my jam. Especially ones with some kind of fruit and pie /crust/crumbly topping situation happening. If you're nodding your head in agreement, then read on.
But before I get to the recipe, lemme tell you how I first came across this gem. Before I worked at Starbucks corporate, I worked in a retail store for quite a few years. During this time many pastries came and went, some better than others. My favorite, by like a mile, though, was the SUMMER FRUIT COBBLER BAR. It only came out during, you guessed it, Summer. I always remember them being pretty popular and our store always seemed to sell out everyday. But one summer, they never came, or any other summers after. Just like that, they were gone.
A couple summers after the cobbler bar disappeared, I was asked to do a coffee tasting at a district meeting where all the store managers in the area get together periodically with the district manager. I wanted to do something seasonally relevant so I made my favorite: iced Kenya. Coffee tastings are never complete without a food pairing so I was brainstorming what would go well with a citrusy iced coffee. I had a fleeting thought, "too bad Summer Fruit Cobbler Bars aren't around anymore". Then another thought: "I could totally make those". And I did. Although, I've definitely tweaked and improved the recipe since that first batch. Sorry managers.
Ok, I'll stop torturing you: here's the recipe! I hope you love them! Does anyone remember when you could order Summer Fruit Cobbler Bars at Starbucks?
Summer Fruit Cobbler Bars
2 c flour
1 c unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
6 T sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 c flour
1/2 t vanilla
4 T butter, cold + cubed
1 c raspberries
1 c blackberries
1 c peaches, peeled + cut into ½ inch cubes
2 T cornstarch
1/4 c sugar (adjust as needed depending on sweetness of fruit)
pinch of salt
2 T lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350.
Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper with a few inches overlapping on either side to make it easier to lift bars out later. I like to smear a few dabs of butter between the parchment and the baking dish, which sort of acts as glue and prevents the parchment from rolling up on itself. For the crust, cream the butter and sugar together then incorporate the flour. The texture should be somewhere between shortbread and sugar cookie dough.
Press the dough into the bottom of the baking pan in an even layer. Prick dough with a fork and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is a light golden brown. Let cool while you make the filling.
Increase oven to 400.
For the filling, start by blanching the peaches. While this step may seem a little fussy and is technically optional, it's totally worth it, I promise. Blanching the peaches does a couple things: it makes them infinitely easier to peel without wasting any of the delicious peach aaand all the beautiful rosey hues from the skin transfers to the flesh. What can I say, I'm a sucker for aesthetics. Gently add the peaches to a large pot of boiling water and let them blanch for two minutes. Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl of ice water (ice bath) to stop the cooking. Then, using a paring knife or even just your fingers, gently remove the skin, half and remove the pits, and chop into 1/2 inch cubes.
Next, combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl and pour over cooled crust.
For the topping, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with pastry blender until crumbly in consistency. Sprinkle over the fruit in an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
Let the bars cool completely then gently lift out of the pan. Slice into desired sizes with a serrated knife and devour.
I often double this recipe and make it in a 9x14 pan. Trust me, when grabby hands start reaching for the tray and they start disappearing, you're gonna wish you had more.