My Macbook is working! (for now)
The laundry is folded! (…also for now)
The Weatherman is home! (hopefully for awhile)
These are all good things. But I have one question.
Could someone please PLEASE tell me why I have to wait approximately 2 more months for the 2nd half of Harry Potter #7 to come out?!?!!?
I think this is ridiculous. I just finished watching part 1, and I obvs cried, again, and I obvs wish I lived in a world where Harry Potter books were released once a month so I would never have to say goodbye.
It would be cool if I also lived in a world where I could be friends with Harry Potter and where I could look like Hermione Granger (= Emma Watson).
Alas. I cannot. But I can dream. And save up money to visit Harry Potter world at Universal Orlando.
I can imagine that some of you are judging me right now, so I suppose I’ll have to offer up a baked good. I’m a little depressed about the whole Harry Potter business though, so I can’t bring myself to talk too much about these Chocolate-covered Strawberry Crumb Bars.
Most people, including the geniuses at ATK, fill their crumb bars with jam or fresh fruit or some combination thereof. Some people fill their crumb bars with chocolate. A few people, including yours truly, fill their crumb bars with both and call it a day.
I chopped up a bar of Godiva milk chocolate that had little pieces of dried strawberries in it and sprinkled it over my half-baked crumb crust. I threw on some dark chocolate chips for good measure. I glopped on some strawberry preserves…specifically my strawberry-red currant Hero fruit spread. I spread it all around. I tossed on the rest of the crumb mixture, baked it off, and took some pictures for you.
That is all I can say for right now. I have to decide which HP book I’m going to re-read this time to take away the sting of the waiting game. I have a problem.
Chocolate-covered Strawberry Crumb Bars
Makes 16 bars, one 9×9-inch pan
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats (if you only have old-fashioned, like me, just pulse them a few times in a small food processor)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (or almonds)
3/4 cup (= 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened but still cool
4 oz. bar of Godiva milk chocolate with dried strawberries, chopped (or just use 4 oz. milk chocolate plus 1/3 cup dried strawberries, chopped)
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup seedless strawberry preserves
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF with a rack in the middle position. Grease a 9×9-inch pan, line it with foil or parchment paper (leaving some overhang on the sides so you can lift the bars out of the pan), and grease the foil or parchment paper. (I used foil…it’s easier to press into the corners and such.)
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, both sugars, baking soda, salt, and chopped nuts. Beat for 1 minute on low to medium speed until evenly combined. Add the butter a few pieces at a time and beat on medium high speed. Once all the butter is added, continue to beat the mixture until it’s crumbly and looks like wet sand. This took me about 3 minutes total.
3. Pour about 2/3 of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan, and using your fingers, press it evenly over the entire bottom of the pan. Bake the bottom crust until the edges are lightly browned and the crust is golden, about 19-25 minutes. Leave the oven on when you take out the crust.
4. Evenly sprinkle the milk chocolate pieces over the hot crust (if using dried strawberries, sprinkle these on now too), then evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over that. Using a small spoon, plop spoonfuls of the preserves over the chocolate. Using an offset spatula, or the spoon, lightly spread the preserves evenly over the chocolate and the crust. Evenly sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture over the chocolate/preserves, pressing lightly to adhere.
5. Bake at 350ºF until the top is golden brown, about 27-30 minutes. Cool the pan completely on a wire rack, then using the foil/parchment overhang, lift the bars out of the pan before slicing. For easy slicing, slide the bars (really one huge bar) onto a cutting board, then slice using a sharp knife. Bars will keep at room temperature, tightly covered, for 3 days. (The crumbs stay pretty crunchy for that long.)
Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated
Thanks for reading, happy baking!