STRAWBERRY CRUMB BARS
STRAWBERRY CRUMB BARS


Spring and summer are the best times for baking fruit crisps, crumbles and pies. Fresh berries are coming into season, meaning your desserts using those berries are the sweetest and juiciest. If you’ve been around Just So Tasty for a while, you know how much I love I fruit crisp/crumble bars – and these strawberry crumb bars are no different.
These easy Strawberry Crumb Bars, with a buttery crust, sweet fresh strawberry filling, and crunchy butter crumb topping make wonderful dessert bars for an afternoon snack, or to take to a summer party, picnic, or potluck.
They have a buttery shortbread base, juicy strawberries in the middle, and brown sugar streusel on top. If you ever eat a fruit crisp and yearn for more crunchy, buttery topping – then these strawberry bars are definitely for you. They’re the type of bars that are perfect with a cup of coffee in the afternoon, or a scoop of ice cream for an easy summer dessert.
WHY MAKE STRAWBERRY CRUMB BARS?
It is Saturday, the day of my friend’s party, and she tells me to bring a dessert to the party. no worries! There are a number of delicious quick and easy desserts for me to choose from. However, these Strawberry Crumb Bars are easy to make, especially if you have fresh strawberries, on hand and are super delicious, and I never have leftovers.
If you have followed my blog, you will notice that my desserts are usually simple. Often magic bars, fruit bars, or brownies. Nothing complicated. I saw no reason to change that trend. After all, my blog is all about fast, easy, and flavorful recipes.

STRAWBERRY SEASON (STRAWBERRY PICKING SEASON)

It is strawberry season!! If you are close to one, I highly recommend traveling to the local strawberry farm to pick strawberries. It is so much fun and the strawberries are so fresh and juicy. We have one just outside of town that we love to visit in the Spring. Of course, if you can’t make it to the strawberry farm, just swing by the grocery store where they usually have the fresh strawberries during strawberry season.
There is just something about the juicy, sweet strawberries in the spring and summer that makes me want to serve them in as many things as possible, especially desserts, like the Mini Strawberry Pretzel Desserts and Strawberry Cheesecake Salad, in addition to these Strawberry Crumb Bars.

WHAT MAKES THIS STRAWBERRY CRUMB BARS RECIPE WORK?

These Strawberry Crumb Bars have lots of flavor from sweet fresh strawberries and a buttery crumb crust and topping. Why this recipe works?
·         Fresh Strawberries. If you have fresh strawberries on hand, use them. The sweet strawberry filling really makes this dessert. 
·         Buttery crumb crust. When combined with the sweet strawberries, this buttery crumb crust makes the Strawberry bars extraordinary.
·         Tried and true recipe. Don’t take my word about how good this recipe is

WHY MAKE STRAWBERRY CRUMB BARS?

It is Saturday, the day of my friend’s party, and she tells me to bring a dessert to the party. no worries! There are a number of delicious quick and easy desserts for me to choose from. However, these Strawberry Crumb Bars are easy to make, especially if you have fresh strawberries, on hand and are super delicious, and I never have leftovers.
If you have followed my blog, you will notice that my desserts are usually simple. Often magic bars, fruit bars, or brownies. Nothing complicated. I saw no reason to change that trend. After all, my blog is all about fast, easy, and flavorful recipes.

STRAWBERRY SEASON (STRAWBERRY PICKING SEASON)

It is strawberry season!! If you are close to one, I highly recommend traveling to the local strawberry farm to pick strawberries. It is so much fun and the strawberries are so fresh and juicy. We have one just outside of town that we love to visit in the Spring. Of course, if you can’t make it to the strawberry farm, just swing by the grocery store where they usually have the fresh strawberries during strawberry season.
There is just something about the juicy, sweet strawberries in the spring and summer that makes me want to serve them in as many things as possible, especially desserts, like the Mini Strawberry Pretzel Desserts and Strawberry Cheesecake Salad, in addition to these Strawberry Crumb Bars.

WHAT MAKES THIS STRAWBERRY CRUMB BARS RECIPE WORK?

These Strawberry Crumb Bars have lots of flavor from sweet fresh strawberries and a buttery crumb crust and topping. Why this recipe works?
·         Fresh Strawberries. If you have fresh strawberries on hand, use them. The sweet strawberry filling really makes this dessert. 
·         Buttery crumb crust. When combined with the sweet strawberries, this buttery crumb crust makes the Strawberry bars extraordinary.
·         Tried and true recipe. Don’t take my word about how good this recipe is. Read a couple of the 88 comments from some of the over 200,000 people who pinned this recipe on Pinterest.
I adapted these Strawberry Crumb Bars from my Blueberry Crumb Bars recipe by using fresh strawberries instead of blueberries. Both taste amazing.
I also used only white sugar for these Strawberry Crumb Bars instead of using a combination of white and brown sugar.
The Strawberry Crumb Bars take a little longer than the Blueberry Crumb Bars because you have to chop the fresh strawberries. However, the end result is totally worth the effort.

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE STRAWBERRY CRUMB BARS?

See the recipe card at the bottom of the blog post for the specific measurements of each ingredient, as well as detailed instructions for how to make the Strawberry Crumb Bars.

Ingredients

·         1/2 cup white sugar
·         1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·         1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         1/2 cup very cold butter, (8 Tablespoons or 1 stick of butter)
·         1 egg, beaten
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
·         1/3 cup white sugar
·         2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

1.            Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  1. Place parchment paper on the bottom of the 8x8 pan that hangs over the side of the pan. (This is to make it easier to remove the Strawberry Crumb Bars after cooking.)
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup white sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture. (VERY IMPORTANT:  Make sure the butter is very cold.) Work with the dough until the pieces are very small. Dough will be crumbly.  You can also pulse in a food processor to until you get pea sized crumbs.
  4. In a separate measuring cup or small bowl, beat an egg with a fork. Add the egg and vanilla to the flour mixture, and combine until you have a crumbly mixture.
  5. Pat half of the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  6. In another bowl, stir together 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the strawberries. 
  7. Spoon the strawberry mixture evenly over the bottom crust.
  8. Crumble the remaining dough over the strawberry filling layer.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly golden brown. (My oven runs hot and baked in about 38 minutes.)
  10. Cool completely before cutting into squares. I recommend refrigerating until ready to serve.

WHAT TYPE OF STRAWBERRIES TO USE FOR STRAWBERRY CRUMB BARS?

·         Fresh – The first and recommended option would be to use fresh strawberries. That is what I used when testing this recipe and they work really well.
·         Frozen – Some readers have successfully used frozen strawberries, I recommend draining any excess liquid from them before using in the recipe.
·         Preserves – A few readers have said they used Strawberry preserves for the filling and loved the bars. I think that would change the taste and texture some from the original recipe but would still be good.

HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY CRUMB BARS

1.    Make the Crumb Crust and Topping.  
1.    In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
2.    In a smaller bowl, beat an egg with a fork.
3.    Add the egg and vanilla to the medium bowl with the flour mixture and stir.
4.    With a fork or a pastry cutter, cut VERY COLD butter into the flour mixture. The dough will be very crumbly. (You could also use a food processor for this step.)
2.    Make the Strawberry Filling.
1.    In a separate bowl, stir together 1/3 cup sugar with the cornstarch.
2.    Spoon in the fresh strawberries.
3.    Stir until it is combined.
3.    Assemble the Strawberry Crumb Bars in the baking pan.
1.    Press half of the dough into the bottom of the pan.
2.    Spoon in the strawberry mixture evenly over the dough.
3.    Crumble the remaining dough over the strawberry mixture. It is ok to not cover all the strawberries.
4.    Bake the Strawberry Crumb Bars.
1.    Bake the Strawberry Crumb Bars in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 45 minutes or until the crumb topping is a light golden brown.
5.    Cool the Strawberry Crumb Bars.
1.    Let the Strawberry Crumb Bars cool for about 10 minutes and cut into bars.
NOTE: See the video and detailed written instructions in the printable recipe card below. (Scroll down for a printable recipe.)

RECIPE TIPS FOR PERFECT STRAWBERRY CRUMB BARS

1.    Fresh Strawberries. As stated above, for the best taste, sweetness, and texture, I recommend using fresh strawberries if they are available.
2.    Make sure your butter is very cold. This is extremely important to get the crumb crust to be the correct consistency. If the butter is warm, it starts melting too soon.
3.    Make Sure Baking Powder is fresh. Yes, baking powder can go bad after a period of time. Check the date and make sure the baking powder you are using is fresh.
4.    Don’t overwork the crumb topping. This also will make the butter melt too soon.
5.    Parchment Paper. Place parchment paper in the bottom of your baking dish and let the paper hang over the sides. This will make it easier to remove the strawberry crumb bars after they are baked.
6.    Use your food processor for perfect crumb consistency without the work. It just makes it a little easier.
7.    Be patient. Patiently wait for these to bake and cool.
8.    Double The Recipe.  If you have a crowd to feed, you can easily double the recipe and bake in a 9×13 baking dish. Just change the number of servings in the recipe card below from 9 to 18 to double the amounts of the ingredients.


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