Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Peach and Pecan Oat Crumble Bars

After making the Peachy Keen Bars a couple of days ago, I thought I'd try another peach dessert- while I still have these wonderfully delicious fresh local peaches in my kitchen. So, after some deliberation, I set out to make these Peach & Pecan Oat Crumble Bars I found on a fellow baker's blog: http://www.thekitchn.com

I love everything about this dessert- the freshness of the peaches, the nuttiness of the oats and the pecans, the buttery crust- you name it! While it is not too sweet, it boasts a tangy, rich flavor that just can't be duplicated if you don't have fresh, juicy, right-of-the-tree ripe peaches. But without further ado, let me introduce you to today's star:

Peach and Pecan Oat Crumble Bars:
Base Dough
1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour
1/2 packed cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Peach Filling
2 pounds peaches, unpeeled (about 7-8 peaches)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pecan Oat Topping
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour, divided
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup flour
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons
1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer) cream the butter with the brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Turn off the mixer and add in the flour, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. Mix dry ingredients in just until the dough is soft and pulled together. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and refrigerate while preparing the filling and topping.

Roughly chop the peaches into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
Wipe out the mixer bowl and mix 1/4 cup softened butter with the oats, flour, pecans, cinnamon, and salt until soft and crumbly. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and set aside to cool.

Spread the chopped peaches over the chilled dough base. Evenly crumble the topping over the peaches, and drizzle with the melted butter.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned. (I ended up baking mine for almost an hour.)

Whisk together the lemon juice with enough powdered sugar to make a thin glaze. Drizzle over the bars.
Cool (or chill) for at least an hour before slicing and serving. I do recommend chilling these; they will stay fresh (and slice more cleanly) for about 5 days when stored well-covered in the fridge.

Recipe courtesy: http://www.thekitchn.com

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