Blackberry Peach Crumble Bars

My inspiration for today’s recipe: “Fake it ’til you make it.”

As freezing temperatures sweep through Charleston this week, I am going to pretend it’s actually summer until it comes true.

Can’t. handle. the. cold.

Crumbly fruit bars are just one way to pretend it’s summertime. If you’ve never tried the blackberry-peach combination, get on it. Besides the pretty colors, the flavor can’t be beat. With these bars, the juicy fruits are pressed between two layers of crisp, buttery oats. Warm, summery smiles all around, guaranteed.

What are “summery smiles” you ask? I don’t know exactly. I made it up. But I imagine we smile a whole lot more in the summer than in the winter. An easy-going kind of smile that just comes naturally in the warm and sunny weather. Not the forced ouch-this-hurts-my-dry-crackling-skin kind of wintertime smile.

Anyway.
I’m keeping things short and sweet (no pun intended) around here today, because the pictures speak for themselves. 
In full disclosure, I actually did make these bars last summer, hence all of the lively greenery in the background. However I’m sure they will be equally as wonderful with a backdrop of snow (or freezing rain in my case…). 
Like I said, FAKE IT ’til you make it. 
Blackberry Peach Crumble Bars
Makes about 12 bars
Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons milk
3 large peaches, peeled and chopped
1 cup blackberries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×9 inch pan and set aside. 
2. In a medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder, flour and salt. Cut in the butter pieces and egg until butter chunks become size of peas. Spread half of this mixture in the bottom of the pan. Press down to form the crust. 
3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Mix in the chopped blackberries and peaches and stir to combine. Spread this fruit mixture over the crust in the pan. Crumble the rest of the flour mixture evenly over top of the fruit. 
4. Bake 40-45 minutes or until the crumble on top is golden brown. Cool completely, cut into squares and serve. 
Refrigerate any remaining bars in an airtight container for up to five days. 
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Mini White Chocolate Blackberry Pies

Soooo. 
Let’s talk about work. I thought it was going to be rough getting back into work again. Even though, as I mentioned the other day, I was looking forward to a normal schedule and routine, the thought of work after a long vacation was not pleasing to my brain. 
For some reason, the transition has been surprisingly okay though.

Maybe it’s because I have a full month of more fun things planned like my step sister’s wedding back home in Columbus, followed by our good friends’ wedding in New Orleans. 
Maybe it’s because reality is starting to set in that my very own wedding is in about 4 1/2 months. That’s still more than a third of the year, but it seems so soon to me. After not doing too much planning for the past several weeks, I all of a sudden feel like there are 100 things I can be doing and it’s getting really fun again. 

Or maybe it’s because it’s January and it’s in the 50’s/60’s outside. Even though I’m still cold most of the time because I’m just weird like that, I am so thankful to be back in Charleston after spending part of Christmas in Columbus where temperatures dropped well below 30 degrees every day. That was a lot of capital letter C’s in the same sentence, but here’s some more: Cold. Cold. Cold. 
No thank you.

Anyway. I know it is only a matter of days until I’m wishing I was back on vacation, but for now I’m going to embrace this feeling. 

And eat a mini pie while I’m at it.  

Mini White Chocolate Blackberry Pies
Makes 14-16 pies
Ingredients:
1 package refrigerated pie crusts (two crusts total)
1 cup fresh blackberries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, add blackberries and sugar. Stir to combine and let sit about 30 minutes (this will really help to bring out the juices).
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.
3. Roll out the pie dough and cut into 3-4 inch circles (a cookie cutter will work best, but cut by hand with a knife if you need to). Lay half of the circles on the greased cookie sheet, leaving 1-2 inches between each one. Use a spoon to scoop blackberry mixture on top of each pie crust circle. Place another cut-out on top of each filled crust. Use a fork to seal around the edges. Slice three small slits across the top of each sealed pie.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crusts are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool about five minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool at least another 15 minutes.
5. While cooling, prepare white chocolate drizzle by melting chocolate chips in the microwave according to package directions. Immediately drizzle on top of each pie. Serve warm.

*Store any leftovers in airtight container for 2-3 days.