The first time I made this recipe was back in November 2005. It quickly became a favorite of The Neighbor Wife and one of my co-workers. These days, with so many new recipes in my mounting to-try pile, I only trot it out once or twice a year, but I quickly remember how tasty these bars are. Most recently, I made them for a platter I needed to do for the retiring teachers at Nick‘s school. The recipe tends to be a bit of a crowd pleaser, with its crumbly topping and slightly tart berry filling, so it’s perfect when you need to bring a platter of something somewhere. You know those occasions.
I’m a stickler for things cutting neatly, so I usually let them firm up a bit in the fridge before cutting; this way I get nice and neat cuts without aggravating myself and making a general mess all over the kitchen. For the dried berries in the center, I’ve used a number of different ones. Sometimes it’s cranberries, sometimes blueberries, sometimes a mix. All are equally good. I tend to like the blueberries, because they’re a little sweeter, but the cranberries deliver a nice little punch, if that’s what you’re after. Whichever way you go, you can’t go wrong.
Sour Cream Berry Bars
Base and Topping
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sour cream
24 oz. dried mixed berries
Heat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine brown sugar and butter; blend well. Add 1-1/2 cups flour, oats and baking soda; mix until crumbs form. Press half of crumb mixture in bottom of lightly greased 15×10×1 baking pan (I used 10×13); reserve remaining mixture for topping. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine all filling ingredients except berries; mix well. Stir in berries. Remove pan from oven. Pour filling mixture over partially baked crust. Crumble and sprinkle remaining half of crumb mixture over filling. Return to oven. Bake an additional 25-35 minutes or until center is set. Cool 1-1/2 hours or until completely cooled. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.