Strawberry Crumb Brownie Bars — 2.5 Stars

When  I saw a post for Raspberry Crumb Brownie Bars, I knew I had to make them.  For three weeks before Baking Day, I eagerly anticipated the results.  Yeah…There was no need for the excitement.  :(

First, you’ve probably figured out by now that I purchased strawberry jam instead of raspberry jam; thus the different titles.  Aside from that, I followed the recipe exactly (It was just after finals, and I didn’t have the brain power to experiment and take risks as I usually do).  Anyway, I think my biggest complaint was that there was just too much going on with the finished product.  Was it a brownie?  A shortbread dessert?  A fruit crumble?  My tastebuds couldn’t decide how to react.  Also, perhaps because I used a brownie mix, nothing in this recipe was especially fabulous on it’s own; the sum was equal to its parts, not greater than its parts.

It’s not that this recipe was awful, it just wasn’t anything special.  And for the amount of work it took (make crust, bake crust, make brownies, make crumble, melt fruit sauce, bake everything), it just wasn’t worth it.  If you want something that looks pretty and will satisfy — not impress — people, then the Strawberry or Crumb Brownie Bars should do the trick.

Ingredients
1 box of brownie mix ( and whatever else the box tells you to add — water, eggs, oil. you could also make your own brownie batter)
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 seedless red raspberry jam
1/4 cup of coconut

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees. Line 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper.
2. Prepare brownie mixture according to the instructions on the box.
3. Cream 2 sticks of butter, add flower, brown sugar and salt. Beat at a low speed until combined and crumbly.
4. Flour your hands and work the crumb mixture with your fingers, pinching it, until you get good size crumbles. Take 1 3/4 cups of crumbles and place in prepared pan. Press the crumbles, shaping to the bottom of the pan.
5. Cook the crumb crust for 10 minutes.
6. Heat a pot at a medium-high heat, add seedless raspberry jam, stir constantly until it melts and you have a nice sauce, set aside.
7. Take crust from the oven and pour in brownie mixture. Sprinkle remaining crumbles over brownie mixture, drizzle raspberry sauce over crumbles and top of with coconut.
8. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until done. Let cook before cutting.

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