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Hostess Gift: Strawberry & Blueberry Crisp Bars Recipe

Need a hostess gift idea? Make my Strawberry & Blueberry Crisp Bars Recipe!

This past weekend I took the train down to Williamsburg to visit my friend Evi and her husband and daughter. Being raised well (thanks parents!) I wasn't going to show up empty handed. Alas Evi wasn't very helpful in giving me ideas of what I could bring other than myself :/

That's when I had a brilliant idea of checking Evi's Pinterest boards to see if they'll give me ideas. And they did! I found a recipe Evi pinned for Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp Bars and decided it'll be a fun treat to bring over.

My store was out of rhubarb unfortunately. Instead, I decided to use blueberries and then switch a few other ingredients and introduce fig balsamic vinegar, basil and black pepper to these bars to make this recipe my own. It was quite successful.

Strawberry & Blueberry Crisp Bars Recipe
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour, more if needed
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon fig balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
optional: powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Line 8x8" baking pan with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl combine oats, flour, sugar, butter and salt. If the texture feels too wet, add a bit more flour.
4. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture. Dump the remaining mixture into the baking dish and press to form the bottom layer of the bars.
5. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine strawberries, blueberries and vinegar and let stand for about 15 minutes.
6. Strain the berries {you can use the vinegar to make a salad dressing} and mix them with cornstarch, basil and black pepper.
7. Add the berry mixture to the baking dish and top with the remaining half a cup of the crumble mixture.
8. Bake the bars for 35 minutes, allow to cool, then refrigerate before cutting. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

These were so easy to make. Think of all the different flavor combinations you can use! These are great for breakfast with coffee or as a mini dessert.

The flavors of fig balsamic vinegar, basil and black pepper did not overwhelm the fruit, but did leave a bit of lingering heat which I liked. These bars weren't too sweet and traveled well. You could eat them cold out of the refrigerator or reheat in the oven. A scoop of vanilla ice cream would not hurt.