Thursday, August 15, 2013

browned butter berry bars {in the sweet kitchen}

this weekend past
we took a long drive
with no real agenda
except to explore
as we drove north
i began to obsess

a cookbook was given to me about a year ago
big sur bakery
while getting lost in its pages
i fell in love with the place
and began imagining each bite

while big sur is coastal
 we were on an inland route
a little jot west, wasn't too far off course
{it wasn't like we had anywhere to be}
an hour, and ten white knuckles later
we arrived in big sur

the bakery was hosting a wedding
which meant
it was closed

double dip dang-nabbit ugh

we stopped at a half bad restaurant
for nourishment
not enjoyment
planning our return

when we got home
promptly made these
which are a variation of the brown butter rhubarb bars
berries we picked that morning
brown butter berry bars
(adapted from the big sur bakery cookbook)

2 cups blackberries and mulberries {or berries of your choice}
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup sugar
place all ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  cook on low heat until it begins to bubble and thicken.  watch closely and cook until it is thick and jammy. set aside to cool

1 cup unsalted butter--melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups flour{whole wheat or all-purpose}
whisk together the flour, powdered sugar and salt.  stir in butter.  press into a 9"x 13" pan.  bake in a 375^ oven until it just begins to brown(15-18 minutes).  remove from oven and allow to cool.

brown butter filling
3 large eggs
 1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs unsalted butter
3/4 cup + 2 Tbs flour {whole wheat or all purpose}
1 teaspoon vanilla
place the butter in a saucepan and cook on low heat until it becomes brown and nutty, careful not to burn.  whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, flour and vanilla.  carefully stir in the browned butter.

to assemble
spread about half of the browned butter mixture on the prepared crust.  dollop about 3/4 of the jam on top.  spread the remaining browned butter filling and then dollop the remaining jam.  bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges just begin to turn brown.  do not overbake, (allowing the filling to souffle). allow to cool before cutting into bars. 
delicious room temperature or directly from refrigerator.


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