Saturday, 27 July 2013

Breakfast Bars (or how to feed a crowd of people for breakfast, and still be smiling)

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. - Leo Tolstoy

I remember when I first met my husband he asked me what I thought Heaven was like.  I believe I described a very detailed image of a quiet, peaceful nature scene...something with a stream...mountains...trees...and solitude.  He said, "That's funny." He continued on to say that he had thought of heaven as a big house with lots of people and lots of noise...all the people you have missed and gone before you...and they are welcoming you ...
My husband does love people...(so do my children).  Already, this summer I have cooked consecutive days for over 30 people (yes, I am talking ...breakfast lunch and dinner).  And they are still wondering when more people can come to visit. I am beginning to think I have gone into the wrong profession.  I think I should have been a party planner...or been perhaps in catering. (But my family is lucky...I do love people, too.)
One thing I have learned is that cooking for a crowd does take technique if you hope to survive.  This is one recipe I have already repeated three times this past feed a crowd...and every time it has been a hit.  It is easy to prepare...looks a bit fancy...and can even be made the evening before.

In my house...I either triple or quadruple the following recipe.  I have also substituted the butter with coconut oil at times...also, I have used half whole wheat flour instead of all white flour. The substitutions all worked great.

Breakfast Bars(from Smitten Kitchen)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Lightly butter a 9 x 12 inch baking pan

for the crusts:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup butter

for the filling:
1/4 brown sugar
1 T lemon zest
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons flour
3 cups berries (I have used both raspberry and sour cherry...both were good)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Crusts:
1.  Combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon in a bowl.  Combine with a pastry blender until mixture resembles loose crumbs.

2.  Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. (reserve the remaining crumb to use for the topping.)

3.  Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool as you continue the other preparations.

For the filling:
4.a. If using raspberries (fresh or frozen):  Combine in a medium bowl sugar, lemon zest, flour, cinnamon, berries, lemon juice and butter.  Set aside.  (no need to cook)
    b.  If using fresh sour cherries, with pits removed:  repeat the above step...then transfer to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a light boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat, a continuing cooking at a low heat  for about 5 minutes.

Assemble the bars:
5.  Spread the berry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust.

6.  Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.
7.  Bake for 35- 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling beings to bubble around the edges.
8.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Then cut and serve. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Looks yummy!
    Oh man, cooking for 30 people! I don't mind planning, serving or helping in some way for a group that size but I wouldn't enjoy cooking for them all so much! You're pretty amazing :)