Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blackberry Pie Bars (Gluten-Free)

I've recently had a major schedule change, which added four fatty, glorious hours to each of my weekdays. That being said, I feel like a whole new person. Like a vacationer that takes PTO but doesn't travel anywhere.

I get to go running in the morning.

I get to spend time with my friends, when we pick blackberries and then stuff ourselves with $2 beers + $2 tater tots (see you next Tuesday at the Cloverleaf!). 

I get to see my husband in the morning. and again in the early afternoon. oh, and yet again in the evening, when we get to have dinner together.

(Said husband is still determining if he likes this new schedule of mine.)

Just kidding, he totally loves having me around 35% more. Mainly because I get to bake these:

May I present to you: Blackberry Pie Bars, for your next gluten-free, blackberry-containing baking endeavor.

These suckers are addictive. Luckily, I'm the new girl at work and trying to earn some brownie (uhm, bar?) points so I brought some in for my co-workers to snack on...because of course I will use food to wiggle into your heart.

Lucky for you, blackberries are sprouting up everywhere these days (at least if you're in the PNW). I started picking them not having an iota of a thought as to what I would do with them, but let me tell you: the internet will not fail you. I'm sure you have such knowledge, but just in case you forgot: the internet has all the answers for all the things.

I found this recipe from our dear friend Martha, and it adapted to gluten-free flours perfectly. They are almost custard-like in the middle, and almost require a fork, but not quite. My edges turned out crispy, which were a nice contrast to the juicy insides.

I followed the recipe and used greased parchment paper as a liner, but I found it was difficult to separate the bars from the paper, as it was almost too wet from the oil. I would try simply greasing the pan straight-up, or using tinfoil if you don't want to bake them directly in the pan.

Blackberry Pie Bars
adapted from Martha Stewart
makes 16 bars

 6 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
1/2 cup room temperature butter
1 1/4 cups almond meal (separated)
1/2 cup potato starch (separated)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups fresh blackberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x8 baking pan (see lining notes above).

2. For the topping: In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and 1/4 t salt. Add 3/4 cup of the almond meal and 1/2 cup of the potato starch and mix together until fully incorporated. Store in fridge while you prepare the remaining recipe.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup potato starch and 1/4 t salt with the baking powder. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, cream together the room temperature butter with the powdered sugar and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating after each egg. Add in the flour mixture and thoroughly combine.

5. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and sprinkle the blackberries evenly on top. Crumble the refrigerated topping on top, breaking it up into little pieces as you cover the berries.

6. Bake for about 40 minutes and let cool completely before cutting.

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