Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Rhubarb Streusel Bars with Ginger Icing
When I read my horoscope, I took a deep breath and wished with all my might that it would come true. Time seems both scant and never ending right now. There aren't enough daylight hours to accomplish everything on my multiple to-do lists lately and yet, it seems like it's still forever until this baby girl arrives sometime in August. I'm so eager to meet her and yet there are a million things to do before she arrives.
This is all on top of the usual anxiety I feel this time of year. It seems we wait forever for strawberries and tomatoes to come in season here in Central Texas and then, BAM! Shortly after, blueberries and peaches and blackberries make their arrival all on top of one another. Couple the bounty with our short seasons and I'm off and scrambling to find the perfect specimens for carefully chosen recipes I've stashed away all year. I have both blueberry and peach desserts I want to either try for the first time or perfect very soon but I haven't yet settled on a recipe for a blackberry creation. If I don't get moving, I'll miss the season all together.
As excited and impatient as I am about peaches and berries, right now they have to wait because it's rhubarb season. Not here in Central Texas, per se, who knows if we'll even see any locally grown rhubarb this year after last year's drought, but lovely dark, ruby-colored stalks from Michigan and Oregon are in stores. And you know how I feel about rhubarb....
I found this recipe on the same magazine tear out page as my go-to casserole recipe. It is the casserole recipe in my house- if you have a baby or lose a loved one, it's the tried and true favorite I'll show up at your door carrying. When I tore the casserole recipe from one of my Mom's Better Homes and Gardens issues long ago, I didn't initially notice this rhubarb bar recipe. Little did I know I had lucked upon not one but two gems. I expect these bars to go into heavy rotation each rhubarb season hereafter. They're just right- the tanginess of the rhubarb is played up by the addition of both crystallized ginger and ginger icing and the oatmeal streusel makes a nice solid base for the bars as well as a crunchy topping. Best of all, these bars are quick and easy with little to no mess- no mixer required, just a bowl or two and a square baking pan. The hardest part is refraining from finishing off the whole pan in one sitting.