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Strawberry Crumb Bars

When you see strawberries in the dead of winter, it’s a striking sight.  With all of the beige food that we’ve been eating these last two months, I had almost forgotten that such colors existed.  And as soon as I held them in my hands, I was able to forget about the snow that was pummeling our city and think of warmer, happier times.

These strawberries came to us in our CSA box a few weeks ago, which were brought up from Georgia.   And while they were stunning to look at, I wasn’t prepared for such luscious fruit.  I was thrown for a bit of a loop, so I sent them to the refrigerator until I figured out what to do.

But they just sat there.  For almost a week.

By the time I opened the fridge to take them out, they had turned a bit soft. They still looked delicious, but they needed to be treated with a little extra love.  And that love came in the form of this wonderfully simple, rustic dessert.

I must admit, I haven’t done much with strawberries in the past.  Normally they end up in fruit salad or with some vanilla ice cream.

Searching for an easy dessert recipe that included strawberries was not an easy task.  I came across a lot of cheesecakes, a few for strawberry shortcake (no thanks) and a lot of warm-weather fare (granitas, sorbets, ice creams, and gelato).

What I was really looking for was a quick pastry recipe. I grew up on cookies, brownies,  and lemon bars.  Even now, when I go home to visit my parents I can always expect a plate of freshly baked treats.  And, when I was getting prepared to cook up something with these berries, I knew that I wanted something that would comfort me, something that would bring me back to my childhood.  This recipe did the trick.


Strawberry Crumb Bars

(adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen, which was adapted from AllRecipes.com)


1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon salt

Zest and juice of one lemon

3 cups fresh strawberries, quartered lengthwise

1/2 cup white sugar

4 teaspoons cornstarch



1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the strawberries. Sprinkle the strawberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. (This took an extra 10 to 15 minutes in my oven.) Cool completely before cutting into squares.

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  • MonetJanuary 28, 2011 - 5:54 am

    What a great way to use these Georgia strawberries. I love bar recipes, and this looks like such a burst of summer goodness. Thank you for sharing, sweet man. I hope you and your love have a great weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenJanuary 28, 2011 - 8:15 am

    I know that recipe, it's killer! I've never tried it with strawberries before though, I only wish I could get my hands on some strawberries right now.ReplyCancel

  • Mardi @eatlivetravelwriteJanuary 28, 2011 - 11:42 am

    Love this recipe Brian – it's just the brightness we all need in these dark, grey days of winter. I need to get making some bars myself, I think :-)

    And YAY! I rarely win anything so this is great! I know exactly what I will buy at CSN stores!ReplyCancel

  • Lael Hazan @educatedpalateJanuary 28, 2011 - 12:29 pm

    Yum STRAWBERRIES! I live in Florida and this year the strawberries are bountiful and because of the cold, especially sweet. A few weeks ago we went picking and I have great bounty in my freezer. I'm looking forward to trying your bars out!ReplyCancel

  • RJ FlamingoJanuary 28, 2011 - 12:51 pm

    Our strawberries are coming in, too, and I'll go picking next week for jam. But I'll definitely save some for this. :-))ReplyCancel

  • ElizabethJanuary 28, 2011 - 12:52 pm

    Oh dear god yes. I got those same strawberries from Enterprise. I never eat fresh berries out of season so it was quite the odd sensation. I'm a sucker for crumb topping on anything.ReplyCancel

  • ElleJanuary 28, 2011 - 1:06 pm

    Love bars like this! They're always a huge treat for me, no matter what time of year-but even more so in the dead of winter.ReplyCancel

  • Belinda @zomppaJanuary 28, 2011 - 1:06 pm

    Beige food…haha…never though about it that way! these certainly cheer things up.ReplyCancel

  • Chef DennisJanuary 28, 2011 - 1:34 pm

    hi Brian
    oh those strawberry bars look delicious….I am so glad you let those luscious berries soften otherwise we might not have seen these wonderful bars!
    Hope you have a great weekend, stay warm!

  • Cake DuchessJanuary 28, 2011 - 1:55 pm

    I know there are some fresh strawberries here near us in Florida. I will take the kids to pick some and after we will make these yummy looking bars. Gorgeous photos Bri;)ReplyCancel

  • foodwanderingsJanuary 28, 2011 - 1:57 pm

    Ooh I am coming for the barbecue too!! Do you have space for extra two?! Yum!! Love anything bars it's such a bice bite!!ReplyCancel

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.January 28, 2011 - 1:57 pm

    These looks fantastic! I can't wait to try these. I agree with Cake Duchess-awesome photosReplyCancel

  • SMITH BITESJanuary 28, 2011 - 2:10 pm

    ahhhhh a bright spot in the land of frozen tundras!! this makes me happy Brian, very happy indeed!!ReplyCancel

  • Fun and Fearless in BeantownJanuary 28, 2011 - 2:17 pm

    These strawberry crumb bars have me yearning for summer.ReplyCancel

  • GFree_MielJanuary 28, 2011 - 2:47 pm

    Oh my that looks so good. I have such a love for strawberries and miss them so much in the winter.ReplyCancel

  • FlaviaJanuary 28, 2011 - 2:57 pm

    These look delicious and your photographs are wonderful. I would imagine that the fresh strawberries take on an almost "jammy" texture when they bake into the soft pastry and become even sweeter. I'm adding this to my ever-growing "recipes to make" pile!ReplyCancel

  • Barbara BakesJanuary 28, 2011 - 3:09 pm

    I just bought some strawberries at the store and they were so sweet, a wonderful taste of sweet CA sunshine. Your bars would have been a fabulous way to enjoy them.ReplyCancel

  • JoyJanuary 28, 2011 - 3:42 pm

    My best friend is making these tonight, she LOVES strawberries. What beautiful pictures Brian you have such a talent!ReplyCancel

  • Kate @ Diethood.comJanuary 28, 2011 - 4:07 pm

    Oh wow, I'm imagining the sweetness of those berries after they've cooked…oh I'd love to have a bar or two! This looks amazing. Delicious!ReplyCancel

  • katJanuary 28, 2011 - 4:45 pm

    We just count the days until fresh strawberries are in the farmers market in the mean time we live on our strawberry jam. This is a recipe I'll remember for those fresh strawberries though. Stumbled.ReplyCancel

  • Ken│hungry rabbitJanuary 28, 2011 - 5:35 pm

    Simple and to the point delicious. I got to go to the gym more often. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • sara @ CaffeInaJanuary 28, 2011 - 5:35 pm

    These bars really call for spring! I love love love colorful food. Thanks for a glimpse of the nice season ahead :)ReplyCancel

  • Jill ColonnaJanuary 28, 2011 - 5:36 pm

    I love it your comment, they had to be treated with a little extra love! This looks a real change to a crumble! Bon weekend.ReplyCancel

  • jeanJanuary 28, 2011 - 5:45 pm

    Congrats to Mardi and I want the some of these crumb bars! Beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • StephJanuary 28, 2011 - 7:02 pm

    I think you figured out the perfect thing to do with them. These bars have got me drooling!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren at KeepItSweetJanuary 28, 2011 - 8:06 pm

    These definitely remind me of summer and they look delicious!ReplyCancel

  • briarroseJanuary 28, 2011 - 9:21 pm

    What a wonderful treat. These look delicious.ReplyCancel

  • KitaJanuary 28, 2011 - 9:58 pm

    Congrats Mardi!
    These crumb bars look super tasty!ReplyCancel

  • TorviewtorontoJanuary 28, 2011 - 11:50 pm

    looks wonderful and delicious I like the streusel cake
    I make similarReplyCancel

  • merry jenniferJanuary 29, 2011 - 1:15 am

    Hooray for Mardi!

    We've usually got lots of strawberries this time of year, mostly from Plant City, just south of us. A lot of the crops were damaged from the cold, though, so the yields are much less than usual. This dessert looks wonderful, and your photography is spot on as always.ReplyCancel

  • Andrew FrishmanJanuary 29, 2011 - 4:50 am

    Mmmn. . . I loves me some bars especially when they're crummy.

    ¡Hasta las fresas, siempre!ReplyCancel

  • marlaJanuary 29, 2011 - 3:04 pm

    Brian, lucky you to get those beautiful strawberries in your CSA box. Yes, quite the surprise! Now we are talking – these are exactly what you need to prepare while we do all that cold weather skiing. A dream come true!ReplyCancel

  • PeggyJanuary 29, 2011 - 3:15 pm

    These bars looks absolutely beautiful! This makes me miss my CSA! Can't wait for May to come around!ReplyCancel

  • BethJanuary 29, 2011 - 4:07 pm

    We are so spoiled here in Cali. I'm going to make these this weekend they look so yummy Brian. Such a treat.. Thanks for the post. B:-)ReplyCancel

  • mywanderingspoonJanuary 29, 2011 - 5:39 pm

    Love the photos, great little dessert:)ReplyCancel

  • JoanneJanuary 30, 2011 - 12:16 pm

    For the past few weeks, whenever I walked into whole foods the place would smell vibrantly of strawberries and I was so confused because they are SO not in season. But Georgia isn't that far away I guess?

    These bars look delicious. I'm a pastry/bar lover as well. They are so easy to make and always a crowd pleaser!ReplyCancel

  • ElianaJanuary 30, 2011 - 5:28 pm

    Hmmm – this glimmer of spring is makin me tingle. Any way you can ship some of these bars to NYC? I will be eternally thankful.ReplyCancel

  • polwigJanuary 30, 2011 - 6:07 pm

    I have been seeing a lot of strawberries and blueberries lately. We have been eating them like crazy, but I thought they came from Chile, Georgia sounds a lot better… This cake looks delishiousReplyCancel

  • JamieJanuary 31, 2011 - 2:37 pm

    LOL too funny and so like me! You get something lovely and precious so wait for the perfect way to use them then *puff* they go soft. But I think these crumb bars are the perfect way to use fruit! Delicious!ReplyCancel

  • ShirleyFebruary 1, 2011 - 5:09 am

    I love crumb bars!! I've only heard of them being made with jam, so I bet fresh strawberries tastes even better.ReplyCancel

  • francescaFebruary 1, 2011 - 6:47 am

    funny how you have to "do" something with strawberries. when i have strawberries in my fridge, they just get eaten. plain. from the box. really fast.ReplyCancel

  • Sanjeeta kkFebruary 3, 2011 - 1:04 pm

    Oh, recently I saw a blueberry crumble bar with almost the same kind of pictures, and thought of trying it out with strawberry.And here I am looking at the delightful creation.ReplyCancel

  • Neo-HomesteadingFebruary 3, 2011 - 3:17 pm

    I've got a pantry full of home canned strawberry preserves, and a freezer of strawberries we picked in june. They might have to find their way into these bars! Spectacular! (fresh strawberries don't last more than an hour in my house…unless we just happen to have 40 pounds of them laying around)ReplyCancel

  • […] I had some frozen strawberries filling up my freezer and I saw this wonderful recipe on the blogosphere so I simply HAD to make […]ReplyCancel

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