Monday, June 23, 2014

Blueberry Pie Bars

 A few weeks ago, when I had the gang over for dinner, I was trying to decide what kind of dessert to make. I wanted it to be easy and summery, but wasn't sure which direction to go. Then I found out that it was Matt's birthday, and that he loves blueberry pie. AHA! Perfect! But one pie would not be enough. How about a blueberry pie BAR???  There's the answer! A quick Google search and here we are. They were as easy as could be to make, and Matt loved them. (Happy Birthday Matt!) I particularly liked the addition of the oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon because it makes it more of a crumb topping, rather than just cookie dough crumbled over the top, know what I mean? SO good!
 I also decided that they would be perfect to make for a July 4th BBQ. Just serve them with some fresh strawberries or raspberries, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or a dollop of whipped cream) and boom, Red, White, and Blue!
You can even do them ahead of time! Easy, right?
So make sure you add this one to your summer recipe repertoire, k? Yum.

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated sugar cookies
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries

 Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Break up three-fourths of cookie dough into pan. With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
 Meanwhile, in medium bowl, crumble remaining cookie dough. Add oats, brown sugar and cinnamon; toss. Set aside.
 In small bowl, stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently stir in blueberries. Sprinkle blueberry mixture evenly over crust. Crumble oat mixture over blueberry mixture.
 Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool 1 hour before serving. 

One other thing.... the recipe said to cut it into squares, which leads one to think that it will be something you can pick up like a brownie. Not so much. I think it's best to serve this one on a plate. Just sayin!

 If you want to take a shortcut, you can use a can of pie filling instead of doing the fresh blueberry mixture. Use any kind you like! Apple, cherry, pineapple, all good! You could also substitute a different kind of fresh fruit for the blueberries, if you like. I'm sure fresh peeled and diced peaches would be fabulous.
I suppose you can make a scratch batch of sugar cookie dough if you like, but since it's a Pillsbury recipe, I figure I'll use their product for this one. It's only fair, right?
I doubled the whole recipe and baked it in a 9x13 pan, but then again I was feeding a crowd!
Also, as I always do with any kind of bars or squares, I lined the pan with parchment paper and let several inches of it hang over the sides to make a "sling". Then, after it was finished baking and cooling, I used the sling to lift the entire batch out of the pan in one piece. Using a large knife, I made perfectly clean cuts without damaging my pan! Smart, huh?

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