I turned a Food52 fan favorite, Blondies -- Gluten-Free and Completely Delicious, into strawberry tart bars: I reserved some of the base and mixed it with almonds and oats for a crumble topping, then chilled both components until they firmed up. By pressing the dough into the pan and baking it like a tart crust—until it browned and crisped—it could handle the weight (and water) of the strawberries and the oat-and-almond nuggets when the whole thing went back into the oven for a shorter stint. The result is a crisp, cookie-like bottom topped by just-cooked berries and a soft nutty dough. —Sarah Jampel
20 to 25
(scant) brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for the strawberries
sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled
eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups
chopped almonds (it's fine to substitute slivered or sliced!)
In a stand mixer or working vigorously by hand, mix the cooled melted butter and 2 cups brown sugar until smooth and caramel-colored. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing each in thoroughly. Add the extracts and mix to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flours and the salt to combine. Add them into the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.
Scoop out 3/4 cup of the batter and put it in a separate bowl. Add the oats and the chopped almonds and stir to combine. This will be your crumble topping. Refrigerate both batters until firm, at least 1 hour.
When the dough is close to chilled, preheat the oven to 350° F and line a 9- by 13-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang so you can lift it out of the pan later.
In a medium bowl, mix the strawberries, cornstarch, and the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Set aside.
Take the dough without the oats and almonds and press it into the bottom of the parchment-lined pan. It should cover the pan's bottom: Don't worry. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden-brown and baked through. If it's not fully crisp, bake for another 3 minutes and check again. This is your chance to cook the crust fully before you apply the strawberries.
Take the crust out of the oven and distribute the sliced strawberries over top. You don't have to avoid getting the cornstarchy-juice on the crust, but don't pour spoonfuls of it on, if you can help it. Use your fingers to break the crumble top into clumps over the strawberries.
Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until strawberries are somewhat jammy and the crumble top has cooked and browned slightly (it's okay for it to be a bit gooey!).
Let cool, then slice into small (or large) squares. If storing, wrap in aluminum foil and keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.