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
- Serves 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!)
hulled and sliced ripe strawberries (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 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.