Strawberry crumb bars
Updated: Aug 24, 2021
I am usually a chocolate dessert gal, but there is something about crumb bars that I love! My other half's mom (and soon to be mother in law) owned a bakery that I went to growing up and one of my favorite treats was the raspberry bar. It has an incredible shortbread base, and was bursting with buttery and fruity flavor! The base of this recipe is based off of the Rosie's Bakery raspberry bar, and then things get a little funky from there.
As you may know, I took a recipe development and baking course led by Christina Tosi and I learned how to make crumb, which inspired my Strawberry frosted cupcakes. I loved the crumbs in that recipe so much that I knew I had to use them for a crumb bar recipe!
I used a classic Smucker's strawberry jam, but strawberry preserves would also taste great in this recipe. In case you choose to use a different jam, I broke down the carb info at the end to allow for easy customization.
One of the best things about these bars is their shelf life. There are no eggs in this recipe, or cream, or anything else that would cause them to spoil quickly. They store great at room temperature in an airtight container, but for extra security I usually store them in the fridge. They come together easily, have a beautiful appearance, and taste incredible - they are certainly a crowd pleaser!
Shortbread base ingredients:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
5 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons crushed, freeze dried strawberries
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup strawberry jam
Cooking time: About an hour plus cool time.
Make your shortbread base. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If your butter isn't already at room temperature, you can place it in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds to soften it.
In a large bowl, whisk together your powdered sugar and flour to fully combine. Add in your butter and using a large spoon or spatula, mix together until it forms a dough. Note: you can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, but a bowl and spoon will do the trick! You'll know once it's come together as a dough, and you can stop there.
Line an 8x8 square pan (a 9x9 pan would work great as well) with parchment paper. Flatten your dough down into your pan and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. It should be lightly golden on the top.
Make your crumb. While your base is baking, or once you've removed it from the oven, prep your crumb. Measure out about two tablespoons (or two grams) of freeze dried strawberries. Crush them to a powdered state either in a plastic bag using a mallet or tenderizer, or you can use any flat bottom tool to crush them finely. In a medium bowl, combine your dry ingredients, sugar, flour, salt, and freeze dried strawberries. Toss them to combine with a large spoon. Add in your vegetable oil, you can start with your 1/4 cup, and use a spoon to stir and combine. For this step, since you want some chunks to form, I toss my dry ingredients over the wet in almost a folding motion. Continue and add your other two tablespoons of vegetable oil if needed to bring your ingredients together. Some of the mixture will be more of a small crumble - the variation is great!
Assemble and finish baking your bars. Measure out 3/4 cup of your strawberry jam. Scoop it onto your shortbread base, and use the back of a spoon so spread across. Move slowly, and it will get easier as you go. Take your crumb and carefully cover the surface of your strawberry jam.
Place your assembled bars back into the oven and bake for another 30 minutes. You should see your jam bubbling! Keep an eye out during the last 5 minutes to see if you should take your bars out early, or extend an additional 5 minutes.
Remove your baked bars from the oven and allow to cool fully for about an hour to two hours (you can also place them once partially cooled into the fridge. Remove from your pan only once completely cooled and slice your bars into 16 squares!
These bars will stay fresh in an airtight container for about a week, possibly longer in the fridge. And as always, you can wrap them in plastic wrap and place into an airtight container and store in the freezer as well!
Carb and serving info:
Carbs per serving: 30.8
Carbs for full recipe: 492.4
Carbs for full recipe without jam: 336.4
Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.