Lots of Berries!

berry-bars

This week I made Blackberry Pie Bars. Well, to be honest I actually made Triple Berry Pie Bars cause the frozen triple berry mix was on sale and raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are all delicious and I’m cheap so it makes for a good combination.  And as it turns out it doesn’t hurt the recipe one bit to change-up the berries a bit. I’m actually glad I did cause this thing has a very thick filling and I think just having blackberries would have been a bit too much for me.  I like the contrast that using multiple berries give it.

This is a pretty simple recipe and if making homemade berry pies scares you some I think you should give this a try since you don’t have to roll out a traditional pie crust.  You just have to press this into the pan. Although a helpful hint from me here, whenever I do a crust like this I always freeze my butter for several hours first.  It helps make it easier to cut the butter into the other ingredients and if you work quickly the butter won’t have time to melt.

The filling I found to be very interesting and tasty!  It’s not a traditional berry pie filling.  It has the addition of eggs and sour cream and I think it gives it a great richness and keeps the berries from being to sour.  Sometimes when you’re making a berry pie it’s hard to know if you’re adding too much or not enough sugar to the berries.  This addition of sour cream made the filling creamy and just rounded out everything nicely. The recipe said to bake for 50 min but I had to add another 15 to that. But all ovens are different so just keep an eye on it.

berry-bars-1

In the end I would highly recommend this recipe, it’s delicious.  I cooled mine and then let it sit in the fridge over night so it would set up well.  There’s nothing worse than cutting into a berry pie that hasn’t rested and the filling just runs all over the place. When I pulled it out this morning it sliced really well and then I just popped a piece in the microwave for about 30 seconds, topped it with vanilla bean ice cream and had the breakfast of champions!  That’s right, pie bars and ice cream for breakfast…I’m hitting the proper food groups there…berries and milk!  I’m not on trial here!!!!!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Time

PB&J

Peanut Butter and Jelly, probably one of the most classic food combinations of all time.  I’m a big fan, a late night PB&J is one of my favorite snacks.  So I was very excited to give this recipe a try, Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie Bars.

First off, I think the name is a little misleading.  I wouldn’t describe this as a cookie. To me it has more of a peanut butter brownie type texture.  After feeding one to my favorite guinea pig, Anthony, he agreed that “cookie bar” was the wrong term too.  He actually said it was more bread like and not as sweet as he was expecting.  And I would have to agree with that as well.  Which is strange since they have a cup of sugar, a cup of brown sugar and peanut butter in them.

The recipe is pretty simple and the only change I made was the flavor of jelly.  I used a seedless raspberry jam because that’s what I happened to have on hand.  Because again, I enjoy a late night PB&J. Once I got the base made I was surprised by how much there was and that it was a little on the thick side.  When it came time to swirl the jam into the base it was really hard to do.  Usually when you do a swirl both the things have about the same consistency but this didn’t so it was hard to swirl the jam into it.  I ended up trying to smooth it out a bit and then just poured the jam on top in a pattern.  In the end I felt like it could have used more jam, the peanut butter is a little over powering. Since the base is so thick and there’s so much of it, I wish I had put half in and then layered the jam.  I think that would have put more of a flavor contrast in it.

PB&J1

So while this was pretty tasty I don’t think I would make these again. And I don’t think it has anything to do with the recipe but it just wasn’t what I was expecting.  I would probably prefer a peanut butter thumbprint cookie with jam, that way I get both of things I love in an equal amounts.   Great…now I have to go make cookies!