Not too long ago, I found myself at the Union Square Green Market here in NYC. The strawberries looked so wonderful
that I picked up a couple of boxes, along with a jar of homemade strawberry jam.
I was thinking about a recipe that I had seen, and was eager to give it a try.
They called it “Strawberry White Chocolate Streusel Bars”.
I put my own spin on it, as I am want to do…
Here’s what I did:
Chop up some strawberries, and zest and juice a big, fat lemon.
Combine in a big bowl regular old-fashioned (not fast-cooking) oats, flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
I also chopped up some slivered almonds, toasted them, and added them into this mix.
Cut butter into small cubes and put in fridge to keep cold.
Work the cold butter into the oat mixture until it is incorporated – but still with little bits of butter.
Reserve a cup, and spread the rest out into an ungreased cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
Over a low flame, melt some strawberry jam, and stir in the zest and juice of the lemon and some grated nutmeg.
Bake the bottom crumble in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes.
While it’s still warm, brush the bottom crumble with the melted jam mixture
Add on the strawberries
Top with the remaining crumble and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
The original recipe called for drizzled white chocolate on top, but I completely wrecked my chocolate-melting attempt. I ended up putting small white chocolate dollops on top of my bars. Hubby and I thought the bars were great – in our opinion they didn’t need the chocolate – and were just a bit too sweet for our taste. Next time, I’ll cut back on the white sugar.
For breakfast, we like to spoon on a bit of non-fat Greek yogurt, which cuts the sweetness, and helps move this yumminess from the dessert tray to a fabulous morning meal!
Here’s the original recipe:
2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
¾ cups White Sugar
¾ cups Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Salt
1 cup Cold Butter, Cut Into Small Pieces
4 ounces, Strawberry Jam
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
2 cups Strawberries, Chopped Or Sliced
3 ounces, fluid White Chocolate
(I added about 1 cup of almonds, chopped and toasted, to the crumble mix, a good amount of cinnamon, the zest and juice of the whole lemon, and grated nutmeg to the jam. The original recipe didn’t include these ingredients, but I thought they were a welcomed addition. I would also use less white sugar – and no chocolate – don’t kill the messenger!)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, both sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. Add the chopped up cold butter and work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture looks like small crumbles. Reserve 1 cup of this mixture.
3. Dump the remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased 15” x 10” pan (jellyroll pan) and press it into an even crust.
4. Bake in 350 degree oven for 12-13 minutes or until it is firm to touch. Do not brown.
5. Remove pan from oven. Warm the jam in the microwave for 30 seconds and then stir in the lemon zest. Drizzle the warm jam over the warm crust. Spread the chopped strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle on the reserved cup of crumb mixture.
6. Return pan to 350 degree F oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the crumbs on top are lightly browned. Then remove it from the oven and let the pan cool for 1 hour.
7. Melt the white chocolate in microwave, following directions on package. Drizzle melted chocolate in thin lines over the streusel top. Cut into bars.
What do you think? Will you make it with the chocolate, or without?
And, how the heck do you melt white chocolate successfully without a microwave or a double boiler?
I mean, just in case I want to try again… 🙂