Just because the weather is warming up, doesn’t mean you have to give up baking. The Cuisnart CSO does a great job of baking without heating up the entire house-imagine that? Cookies in the middle of summer-Yum!
And with the warmer months comes lots of produce. One of my favorite vegetables to bake with is rhubarb (yes, it’s a vegetable!).
Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) is a species of plant in the polygonaceae family. It is a herbaceous perennial, growing from short, thick rhizomes. Rhubarb is grown widely, and is available throughout much of the year, thanks to greenhouse growing. Rhubarb grown in hothouses, or heated greenhouses, is called “hothouse rhubarb,” and is typically made available by early spring, before outdoor cultivated rhubarb is available. Hothouse rhubarb is usually brighter red, more tender and sweeter-tasting than outdoors rhubarb. In warmer climates, rhubarb is one of the first food plants available, usually in mid to late spring. and lasts until September. Rhubarb is ready to consume as soon as harvested, and freshly cut stalks are firm and glossy.
With a sweet-tart flavor, it can stand alone in desserts but also pairs well with strawberries, which is what I used in this recipe.
So without further ado-here you go!
- For the Streusel
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup packed golden brown sugar
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- For the Bars
- ½ pound rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces
- ½ pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1½ tbsp gold brown sugar
- 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1¼ cup Confectioner's sugar
- 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
- ¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Whipped Cream Topping (optional)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 tbsp Confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- confectioners sugar for dusting
- Line a 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang on two sides. Butter and flour the parchment and pan, tapping out the excess flour.
- Whisk together butter, brown sugar and salt. Add flour and mix toghether using a fork or your fingers to create large crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar and ⅓ cup flour. Sift or whisk together the remaining flour, baking powser and salt, then set aside.
- In a mixer, beat the butter and Confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
- Spread the batter in the bottom of the prepared pan, top with the rhubarb-strawberry mixturethen top with the streusel topping.
- Bake 45 minutes in your CSO on the Bake Steam setting at 325 degrees F. You want your bars to look golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let it cool in the pan, then remove from the pan using the overhanging parchment tabs. Slice the bars to your preferred size, dust with confectioners sugar and serve or top with whipped cream and serve.
- While the bars cool, whisk together the whipping cream, Confectioners sugar and vanilla extract to firm peaks. Set is aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.