I’m a sucker for a good crumble or crisp. I love the combo of sweet, tart fruit with chewy brown sugar dough and slightly salty crumbly topping. I also love how forgiving crumble and crisp recipes can be: don’t have fresh fruit? Frozen is fine. Don’t have brown sugar? White’ll do. No oats? Forget about em. Fancy some pretzel bits or nuts in your topping? Throw ’em on! Seriously, it’s borderline IMPOSSIBLE to mess these suckers up.
I love this recipe because it’s delicious (of course), easy (see above) but also because it’ll quite lit’rally have your house – the whole thing, not just the kitchen – smelling like the world’s coziest bakery. These babies give off the most intense, nostalgic holiday-at-Grandma’s house kinda vibe, and if it’s possible for just the smell of a food to make you feel good…well, this absolutely will.
Another cool thing about this recipe? If you don’t get the dough quite right (which can take a bit of practice), or if you over-bake it and the bake comes out a little…done…you can just smash this up and pour it over some vanilla ice cream and no one will ever know you’d intended to make cute little bars when you started.
Here’s the basic recipe for my Berry Crisp Bars:
Berry Crisp Bars
- 4 cups berries of your choice, fresh or frozen *I like blueberries and raspberries
- 1.5 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cointreau or preferred liqueur *optional
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1.5 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter, slightly softened but still cold, diced into small cubes *10 tbps is 140 grams
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsuis (fan oven) and butter and flour or grease and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I use a 9.5×11" baking dish but you can use something slightly smaller or larger.
In a mixing bowl, add the berries, 1.5 tbsp white sugar, vanilla and cointreau (if using) and stir to completely coat the berries. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl, combine everything except the butter and stir to combine. Add the butter and incorporate it into your 'dough' with your hands, crumbling it until the ingredients have just come together. If your butter is too soft, it won't crumble, so make sure its just soft enough to work with without being too malleable.
Press 3/4 of the dough into the bottom of your baking dish. Add the fruit. Top with the remaining dough. Dot with a few pads of butter, if you like.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
Allow the pan to cool COMPLETELY before slicing. If you try to cut these before they're cooled, they'll still taste incredible, but they'll be more 'crisp' than 'bar.'
I like to eat mine at room temp with some tea or coffee, or warmed up with vanilla ice cream as a treat after dinner. Enjoy!