I’ve made my share of pie “cookies” – apple and cherry – so when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for Blueberry Pie Bars, I thought why not? (One of these days, I’ll get around to making an actual, regular ol’ pie. :-P)
These bars ooze blueberry flavor. The blueberry yogurt I used added an extra berry kick. The bars also hold their form well, thanks to the packed crumble crust.
For crust and crumble to use as topping:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used a blueberry flavored yogurt)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
For blueberry layer:
- 1 12 oz package/2 cups blueberries
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar (use 1/2 cup if you have tart berries)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and then coat foil with baking spray. You’ll be able to pop out the bars in a snap this way.
2. To create crust and crumble, first melt butter and pour into a large bowl. Whisk in both sugars followed by the flour. Reserve 3/4 cup for crumble topping and use remainder to line the bottom of the pan. Mixture will be sandy. Use fingers or spatula to pack down the crust into a tightly pressed, even layer.
3. In another bowl, mix filling by stirring together egg, Greek yogurt, sugar and vanilla. Next, whisk in flour. Pour filling atop crust and distribute and smooth out mixture evenly using a spatula.
4. In a third bowl, toss together blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Pour blueberries into filling. Use spatula to spread out berries evenly.
5. Take crumble that was set aside and sprinkle clumps of it out atop blueberries and filling.
6. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until filling is bubbling at edges and in center, and the crumble topping is golden. Allow time to cool for at least a couple hours. Carefully remove bars from pan using aluminum foil and slice them to desired size. Serve warm or cold. (I preferred mine after they’d sat in the fridge for a bit first.)
This recipe was first found on Averie Cooks.
I have some RIDICULOUSLY fit colleagues. One of my mentors teaches boxing and spinning classes. Several colleagues plan to participate in multiple marathon events this year. Some of my clients also spotlight athletes’ amazing feats.
Inspired by their collective fitness achievements, I recently decided to set my own personal summer goal. I’ve registered to complete my first 10K in July! While fitness has always been a priority for me, I’ve tended to shy away from running races. For me, its always seemed easier to take a dance/aerobics/cardio class or complete a timed workout on the elliptical versus hitting the open road. There’s an extra bit of motivation needed – both mentally and physically – when you don’t have an instructor or a TV show attached to the machine to urge you on. To help prepare for my first 10K, I’ve been following a six-week online training plan. I’ve also been scoping out smoothie recipes.
So for this Fiesta Friday, I present you with my first green smoothie. It’s a Green Strawberry Pineapple Banana Smoothie that features spinach as the leafy greens. (I’ve got kale waiting in the wings to try out sometime soon, too.) The banana provides a creamy texture and the pineapple juice and fresh strawberries lend their natural sweetness to the drink. (Big thanks to Andrea for the strawberry heart inspiration. :) You should check out her recipe for Strawberry White Chocolate Blondies.)
What are your favorite smoothie ingredients? Do you have any fitness tips to share with me?
Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 banana
- 1/3 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup ice cubes
1. Pour 1/3 cup pineapple juice into blender.
2. Slice strawberries and banana and add in blender, followed by 1 cup spinach leaves.
3. Blend mixture until smooth. Next, slowly add in ice cubes in small batches – 2 or 3 at a time. And voila! No extra sweeteners needed.
My dad was the first person to teach me how to bake. I’ve already blogged about my him as an expert pie maker and all-around awesome person a few times. On Thanksgiving, he made pumpkin pie for breakfast and proudly displays the “evil pie” print I purchased for him in our family’s living room. He also sent me a surprise package of baking supplies to celebrate Spring!
Last year, when I sent him photo evidence of my Apple Pie Cookies, he lightly scoffed at my use of canned apples. :-P At my parent’s house, we have apple trees in the backyard. One year, my dad went into uber-pie mode and made more than ten apple pies, not wanting the fruit to go to waste. After we’d had our fill, he shared some with his coworkers, our cousins and the neighbors, too. It’s no surprise that he earned a new sense of respect from those who hadn’t ever tried one of his pies before.
So when my dad was in town, I was determined to have him bake with me. :) We already had an ambitious schedule of activities for my parents’ visit, so I forced him…(err, I mean asked him nicely) to retry a quick recipe. We followed my Apple Pie Cookies recipe using cherry filling, instead. Cherry pie always makes me think of my dad because (1) any pie makes me think of my dad, (2) he loves cherries and cherry-flavored foods and (3) he tells a funny story about a girl he once met named Cherry. As the story goes, he was working as a substitute teacher and saw the name “Cherry Pie” on his roll call sheet. Wanting to avoid embarrassing her, he pronounced her name “Sherry,” thinking that “Cherry Pie” was just too unlikely a name. He quickly learned he was wrong when she shot back a harsh, “It’s Ch-erry Pie” response. Ah well, he had the best of intentions! (He always, always does.)
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! I’m sending out lots of love to my dad for being my mentor in so many ways.
- Frozen pie crusts – 1 box
- Cherry pie filling – 1 can
- Circle cookie cutter (I used a 2.5″ cookie cutter from Sur La Table which yielded ~18 cookies.)
- Egg – 1
- Parchment paper
- Flour – just enough to sprinkle on the crusts to keep them from sticking to the parchment paper
1. Sprinkle flour on 1 pie crust and roll it out on a piece of parchment paper. (I also rolled out my 2nd pie crust at the same time on a separate sheet of parchment paper, to ensure it was the same size. You’ll need it later to top your pie cookies!)
2. Pour out pie filling on cutting board and chop it into bite-size pieces. Spread topping on crust.
3. Cut 2nd pie crust into strips and weave into a lattice pattern.
4. Dip circle cookie cutter in egg wash and cut out pie cookies. Arrange on cookie sheet. Brush some extra egg wash on cookie tops.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes and then allow time to cool. Enjoy!
Last week, I celebrated my half birthday. While I’m not exactly sure where I’ll be for my birthday in December, I’m determined to make it somewhere warm! (So obviously, Chicago isn’t going to cut it. :-P) In honor of the half and to celebrate the start of warmer temps, I hosted a tropical-themed dinner party for a some close friends. It only seemed fitting to recap a couple recipes from the event for my first Fiesta Friday Blog Party. (Thanks for the invite to participate, Jhuls!)
The full dinner party spread looked like this:
- Appetizers: watermelon, chips & salsa, drunk gummies and fruit glazed meatballs
- Main course: pineapple & ham fried rice, BBQ pulled chicken on Hawaiian rolls and ginger & garlic green beans
- Dessert: double coconut cupcakes and watermelon cookie “slices”
- Drink: tropical ginger punch
I also had a few fun and tropical wearables – leis and party glasses, courtesy of Oriental Trading. (I had to practice restraint when browsing through the Luau section — so many cute and appropriately themed things!)
OK, time to skip to the desserts. The watermelon cookie slices really DID taste like watermelon! (Several friends were convinced I’d melted watermelon Jolly Ranchers into the batter, as they swore that’s what they were reminded of when sampling the cookies.) But the solution to make these cookies was a lot simpler. I turned a box of Betty Crocker Watermelon Cupcake Mix into cake mix cookies, and added some icing and green sugar to create the rind. I used my roommate’s “muffin tops” pan to create the larger cookies, and cut them in half once they’d baked (and had time to cool) to create the slices. (Want to learn how to create cake mix cookies? See my recipe for Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies.)
The Double Coconut Cupcakes were a bit more involved, though I still used a box of cake mix for the base batter. (Hey, I had three other courses to worry about! :-P) Once out of the oven, these cupcakes were super light and spongy. The condensed milk and coconut on top makes them look pretty even without the frosting.
- 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1 1/4 cups almond coconut milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 egg whites
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons almond coconut milk
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small frying pan, cook sweetened coconut flakes over low-medium heat for a few minutes. Stir often and watch carefully, as the flakes will easily burn if left unattended.
2. Mix toasted coconut with condensed milk. In a separate bowl, combine cake mix, milk, vegetable oil and egg whites together using a mixer on low for the first minute and at medium speed for another 2 minutes.
3. Insert liners in muffin tins and fill liners about 3/4ths full with batter. Scoop condensed milk/coconut mixture atop batter on each cupcake.
4. Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
5. While cupcakes are cooling, create frosting by beating butter smooth with a hand mixer. Gradually blend in powdered sugar to form a crumbly mix. Next, add in milk and mix until desired consistency.
6. Frost cupcakes and sprinkle tops with toasted coconut.
This recipe was adapted from Crazy for Crust.