One of our favorite things to do Sunday afternoon is to watch the latest Bucketlist Family video on YouTube. If you’ve never heard about them, they are a young couple with 2 of the cutest kids in the world, who sold everything a couple years ago and now are a full-time traveling family. When we found out that they were also visiting Iceland and Norway this summer, I was so excited! The thought of potentially running into them (yes, yesI realize how unlikely that would actually be) had me as giddy as a kid on Christmas. Sadly I don’t think that will happen as they recently left Iceland and will likely visit Norway before we get there. But seeing their recent Iceland video has me eager to finally see that country through my own eyes…. and drone ;). In their video they recommended watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, as the main character travels to Iceland (and many other countries) in search of a photographer and a missing photo negative. I won’t give away any spoilers (even though this movie is nearly 5 years old), but it has some great messages, breathtaking cinematography locations, and an awesome soundtrack. Just watch it, trust us ;)
Ok so back to this strawberry rhubarb bar recipe. Cutting the strawberries for this recipe brought me back to my frozen yogurt employment days. Every day I would have to restock the toppings by cutting countless strawberries, while wearing sanitary gloves of course. But often I was running the store by myself, so not only would I have to prepare the strawberries behind the already cramped front counter, but I constantly had to don and doff (some fun medical terms for ya there) the gloves to work the register. My mom was so sad when I quit that job – no more bringing home giant containers of fro-yo haha!
These strawberry rhubarb bars are amazinggggg. Think fruit crisp, but with the melt-in-your-mouth streusel topping on both the top AND the bottom layer, sandwiching the ooey-gooey fruit filling. I’ll admit that this was my first time working with rhubarb. I’ve heard that it can be difficult working with this tart ingredient, as the recipe can either be too tart, or the tartness will be overcompensated by too much sweetness. The first test batch was on the tart side, and a bit dry. However, the final recipe is the PERFECT about of sweetness. The natural sugar from the strawberry and the streusel crust/topping create a lovely balance with the tart rhubarb. Serve alone as bars, or warm them and top with vanilla ice cream for some added sweetness.
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB BARS
Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 40 minutes | Makes 16 bars
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides for easy removal, set aside.
2. Make the crust/topping by mixing together in a large bowl:
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups oats
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup + 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3. Reserve 1/3, and set aside. Press the remaining mixture into the prepared baking pan.
4. In a medium bowl, mix together:
1 1/2 cups strawberries, chopped
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
5. Evenly spread the fruit over the oat crust.
6. With the reserved streusel topping, evenly distribute over the fruit.
7. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until the streusel topping is golden and the fruit is bubbling. Remove the bars, using the parchment paper overhang. Allow the bars to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before cutting.