Who doesn’t love Cobbler? In the summertime, with all the beautiful, sweet fruit we have available, who would turn down Cobbler? I’ll tell you who. Busy people. Standing up people. Working people. Fork-less people. Plate-less people. When was the last time you ate a piece of cobbler on the go? Never. Right? Well. Now that all has changed. I have finally created a way for all you busy people to have your Cobbler and eat it too.
(Yeah… that’s not really a thing. But just play with me here, will ya?)
Cobbler Bars!! (Say what?!) It’s Cobbler. But in hand-held bar form. (I know, right?) I’m perhaps a little too pleased with myself for doing this. I had the idea just the other day when I realized how much fresh fruit I had laying around the house- fruit that is delicious on its own but needed to be eaten or else it would begin to lose its deliciousness. I was in the mood to create a new recipe, and also knew that I needed something easy to take to my recipe focus group (a.k.a my father’s office building- chock full of people who are eager to be my taste testers). I wanted to bring something I could just leave with them, something they could set aside to eat whenever the mood struck. Then the idea hit me- what about a bar that tastes just like a Cobbler?!Boom. Magic.
It was a great success! I haven’t had this much positive feedback from one of my recipes in a long time- I got office-tackled with hugs, I’ve received several text-rants, I was followed out of the building, into the stairwell by someone who just had to tell me he loved them, and then politely and unapologetically begged me for more. Felt pretty darn good. And a big bonus with these bars is that not only are you using whole wheat pastry flour (if you so desire…) to add more fiber, but they also have a tiny fraction of the sugar you would normally find in a Cobbler. You really get to taste the fresh fruit. They aren’t rich or too filling, they’re satisfying and fresh and vibrant. And just plain good.
But you don’t have to take my word for it- I’ve got dozens of folks, (that one guy may still be following me, it’s not clear) who are willing to testify.Or…you can just make them yourself.Either way.
First, start by measuring out 4 cups of fresh fruit. I used a combination of peaches, blueberries, blackberries and cherries because that’s just what I had. But you could use just peaches, just berries, anything that sounded good to you. Either way, you will need a total of 4 cups. And if you’re using peaches, dice them instead of slice them. It makes it easier to eat in bar form.
Place the 4 cups of fresh (diced) fruit in a large mixing bowl and add in the zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon, 3 TB cornstarch, 3 TB white sugar, a splash of almond extract (you can omit if you’re not using peaches, but it really is a pleasant background flavor) and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir well. Set aside.
In the bowl of your standing mixer place 1 stick (1/2 cup) of softened, unsalted butter and 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar. Mix on medium speed until fully combined and creamy. With the mixer on, add 2 (room temperature) large eggs, one at a time. Once they’re mixed in well, add a splash of vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl measure out 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour (or AP white flour), 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt + a good pinch. Add this to the butter/sugar mixture with the mixer turned on low. Add slowly until fully combined. Be sure to stop and scrape down the sides to get it all mixed in. Set aside.
In a small dry saucepan on medium-low heat, toast 1/4 cup raw almonds, finely chopped. Toast until you can smell them. Allow to cool. Set aside.
Take out 3/4 of the batter and spread evenly onto a greased 8×8 square baking dish. Sprinkle with your toasted almonds. Pour your fruit mixture over and spread evenly. Dollop the remaining 1/4 of the batter over the fruit and spread as much as you can, but know that it will melt and ooze over when it bakes. It is not necessary to cover all the fruit. You want some fruit to show through the batter.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Allow to cool completely before slicing into 9 squares…you can also slice those large squares into triangles for more, smaller ‘bars’. Your choice.
Serve room temperature and store, wrapped tightly in the fridge.