Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Rhubarb Bars

on May 2, 2017

I can’t believe it! It’s finally here! Rhubarb season! Time to make the first recipe of the season – Rhubarb Bars. My plants are as big as they’ve ever been, and while I know I say that every year – this time I mean it!

Rhubarb is one of those things that my grandmas used to help them survive the Great Depression. They planted rhubarb, and while it still took some sugar to bake with it and to eat, it was a fruit they grew themselves and it was free – they didn’t have to use their limited resources to buy it. I’m sure friends and family gave each other parts of the plants they grew – just like sharing perennials – so they didn’t originally have to BUY the plants. That’s probably why Grandma and her sisters had so many recipes for delicious treats like Rhubarb Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Rhubarb Bread, Rhubarb Muffins, Rhubarb Cream Delight, Rhubarb Crunch, Rhubarb Crunch #2Orange Rhubarb Pie, Rhubarb Jam, Rhubarb Torte, and Rhubarb Sauce. When I planted my first rhubarb plant many years ago, I did buy it because neither grandma or my mom still had rhubarb for me to get a piece of. I put it on the south side of our garage and it grew pretty well, but only had pencil sized stalks. I was telling Grandpa about it and he told me to pick almost all of it before it froze in the fall, so it had to grow new stalks every year. Well, I shouldn’t have been surprised that the old farmer knew what he was talking about – it’s grown bigger every year (I’ve since split it into two clumps and even given some pieces to friends) and this year the stalks are about an inch wide. This is so exciting! More rhubarb to make more recipes! Let’s get started.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Bars

In a saucepan, dissolve in 1/4 cup water:

2 Tablespoons corn starch

Mix in:

3 cups cut-up rhubarb

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook until thick.

Cool.

Mix together until crumbly:

1 1/2 cup oatmeal

1 1/2 cup flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup shortening (I used butter)

1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I used walnuts)

Pat 3/4 of this mixture into 9″ x 13″ pan.

Pour in the cooled rhubarb mixture.

Top with remaining crumbs.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

I didn’t press the crust in too hard, just patted it in. Next goes on the delicious and jammy filling, which seemed like it didn’t thicken up enough, but was just fine in the end. I almost would have suggested an extra tablespoon of corn starch because of that, but I soon realized why it wasn’t necessary. After baking, we couldn’t wait to try the bars. We cut them while they were still warm and they were really crumbly and soft. My advice – WAIT until they’re totally cool and they’ll be more like a bar and easier to cut.

This is before and after baking. These are almost like a jam bar with that filling in there.

Oh wow – these smell so delicious while they’re baking – and aren’t they pretty?!!

Get out to your garden and start picking those beautiful stalks of rhubarb. Then start your rhubarb baking and try these bars. They’re so delicious – just like Grandma used to make! You’re going to love these Rhubarb Bars!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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