I don't know about you all, but I'm ready to start growing food in my garden. I've seen that some of you are lucky enough to do this, but in Colorado we can't plant anything outside until Mother's Day...three months away. Sigh. So until I can do that, I'm pretty excited about frozen fruit. I think it still has great flavor, and it's perfect in baked bars like these.

In fact, these bars are pretty perfect themselves. See that pan in the background? I took these to a Superbowl party last week. Nine adults devoured these during the game, and they were complaining about how they couldn't stay away from them. I don't make these very often because they are insanely addictive. The lovely crumb combined with the sweet but not-too-sweet strawberries along with a bit of almond extract in them just pushes them over the edge. I highly recommend you make these for your sweetie on Thursday. He or she will love you even more...and if you're worried about having a giant pan of these in the house tempting you, the recipe splits nicely in half and you can bake it in a 9x9 pan instead. I pretty much always have to do that modification because these go just a little too quickly at my house!
Strawberry Crumb Bars Recipe
Makes a 9x13 pan
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3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen), cut in half

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add in the shortening and mix with a pastry cutter, fork, or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the eggs and almond extract. Press 2/3 of the mixture into a greased 9x13 pan.

Note: If you're using frozen berries, don't thaw first.

In another bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cornstarch. Stir together. Add in the strawberries and gently stir until coated. Spoon these over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the strawberries. 

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.

Barely adapted from Taste of Home
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02/11/2013 9:37am

I am so ready for a garden too!!! Great looking crisp!

02/11/2013 12:06pm

I'm ready for all this cold weather to go, I'd also love to be able to not kill everything I try and grow :( So I'm going to have to buy the strawberries to make these delicious bars!

02/11/2013 1:22pm

These look so great! I always forget about strawberry desserts for Valentine's Day for some reason. I'm not surprised that you guys finished them during the game...pretty sure I could do some major damage to these by myself!

02/12/2013 5:22pm

These look amazing! Makes me want one right now. :) I will give these a try.

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Connie C
07/28/2013 1:25pm

These are amazing!! I didn't have almond extract so I used vanilla extract. I think I prefer the vanilla. Don't scrimp on the strawberries either.


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