Secret Recipe Club: soft bite-sized cake bars topped with a smear of lemon curd, then packed with blueberries and peaches, and finished with a crumb topping.
Clearly I was in a fruit bar mood when I chose this recipe. No not the kind that serves drinks where singles mingle. I'm talking food here. Dessert or breakfast bars. I think I chose my Secret Recipe Club recipe the same day I signed up a recipe for #SundaySupper, when I chose to make Apple Pie Bars. Which is all to try to explain why I haven't made any bars in about 2 years, and now I've posted two on back-to-back days.
But they're very different from each other. Yesterday's was more of a traditional fruit bar with 3 distinct layers – bottom crust, fruit filling, and crumble topping. Today's little Blueberry Lemon Bars are more like a sponge cake covered with berries and then finished with a crumb topping. But both can be eaten while walking out the door in the morning. And both are addictive.
Yes, it's Secret Recipe Club time again. For the uninitiated, we're a group of around 100 food bloggers, separated into four smaller blogging groups. Every month, we’re each assigned a blog in our group to look through. We try a few recipes and chose one to post about. But all month long, we keep our assignment a secret until ‘reveal day’. It’s been a lot of fun – and I’ve found some great new blogs to follow and new recipes to add to my rotation.
This month I was assigned a terrific blog I'd already been visiting – Mom's Test Kitchen, written by Jaime. Jaime is mom to an adorable toddler (Princess P) and originally started her blog as a way to organize the stacks of recipe clippings she wanted to make. I totally understand that. My problem – the recipe piles have only gotten bigger.
Jaime's site is full of wonderful recipes I want to try, and I'm definitely making her Caprese, Florentine Quiche soon, but as we've already established, I was in a bar mood. So I chose her Blueberry Lemon Bars instead and have zero regrets. In fact, I've made them twice now because they were that good.
I did make a few little changes that doesn't change the soul of the dessert. I substituted coconut sugar for some of the powdered sugar Jaime's recipe called for, and switched out half of the butter for coconut oil. I ran out of lemons for the lemon zest, but I had some lemon curd on hand, so I smeared a slick of lemon curd over the batter before adding the berries and crumble topping. Lastly, I had a peach I needed to use, so it joined the blueberries. These babies were melt-in-your-mouth perfect little dessert bites as I said a sad farewell to summer.
Blueberry-Lemon Bars (with Coconut)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp lemon curd
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries
- 1 peach pitted, peeled, and sliced
- 6 Tbsp room-temperature butter
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with some butter, and line the bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Butter the parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup of the flour with the baking powder and salt. Using a standing mixer, beat the butter and coconut oil together until fluffy with the paddle attachment, about 3 - 5 minutes. Add the sugars and the vanilla extract, and continue to beat until completely incorporated into the butter.
- Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the dry ingredients all at once using a spatula. Work the batter only until the flour in completely mixed into the batter.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and lightly top with the lemon curd. Sprinkle with the blueberries and peach slivers. Finish with the Crumb Topping (recipe below).
- Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes and pull out using the paper overhang. Cool completely and cut into squares.
- Melt the butter in the microwave oven, using a small microwave-safe bowl, Whisk in the coconut sugar, flour, and salt until large moist crumbs form.