Sweet, snack-like foods are not usually my pick for breakfast. I'm less likely to grab a muffin or slice of coffee cake than I am to slurp down a bowl of oatmeal. Still, slightly sweet baked goods like Megan Gordon's blueberry breakfast bars in her new cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, could find a place in my breakfast routine if I need a quick grab-and-go meal. Otherwise, I'm happy to eat these rye- and almond-filled bars for an afternoon snack or dessert. (Eat one topped with ice cream and you won't be sorry.) It sadly isn't blueberry season yet, but the bars work just as well with a bag of frozen fruit.
Why I picked this recipe: Blueberries, almonds, and rye are some of my favorite things to bake with.
What worked: Even though I picked these bars to bake as a dessert, and I can't get enough of their crumbly, nutty topping. I've been eating them throughout the day.
What didn't: No problems here.
Suggested tweaks: You could use any berries you'd like in place of the blueberries. If you're using something large, like blackberries, give them a few good smushes in the pan for a smoother consistency. If you can't find rye flakes, you can use more oats instead.
Reprinted with permission from Whole Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons by Megan Gordon. Copyright 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:Makes 12 to 16 bars
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:50 minutes
- Blueberry Filling
- 3 cups / 720 ml fresh blueberries or 1 (12-ounce / 350 g) package frozen blueberries, unthawed
- 1/4 cup / 45 g natural cane sugar
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon water
- Whole-Grain Crust
- 1/2 cup / 50 g rolled oats
- 1 cup / 100 g rye flakes
- 3/4 cup / 60 g sliced raw almonds
- 1/4 cup / 30 g raw sesame seeds
- 1 cup / 120 g whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup / 75 g packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 8 tablespoons / 115 g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes, plus more for greasing the pan
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square pan.
To prepare the filling: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the berries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Continue stirring until berries just begin to break down and the sauce thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To prepare the crust: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse together the rolled oats, rye flakes, almonds, and sesame seeds just until they form a chunky, mealy texture, about 30 seconds. Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder and pulse a time or two to combine. Add the egg and butter. Add ice water slowly and pulse until mixture just begins to clump together.
To assemble and bake the bars: Press approximately half of the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Pour the berry filling onto the crust and spread evenly. Scatter the remaining crust mixture across the top as you would for a fruit crisp or crumble—messy and haphazard, but evenly dispersed. Don’t worry about pressing down; it will bake into the bars beautifully.
Bake until the top crumble is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. Slice into bars. If wrapped and kept at room temperature, the bars will keep for 3 days.