Fleeting-Days-of-Rhubarb-Bars
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Serves: 24
 
A firm, crunchy bar with a gooey tart filling, to take to your social events, or to build an event around. Add cold hard ice cream for a fantastic dessert. Share with somebody new and become their Best Friend Forever.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole almonds (or walnuts or pecans), roughly chopped
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1⅓ cups cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • ⅓ cup cold water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Filling: 5 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1¾ granulated sugar
  • 3 cups sour pie cherries, pitted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Place flour and salt in the bottom of a large bowl, stir to combine.
  2. Add butter cubes to the flour mixture.
  3. Toss them around so that they’re coated and used your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the largest butter bits are the size of small peas. (Or use a pastry blender, either way is fine.)
  4. Divide butter-flour mixture into two bowls (each will have a scant 3 cups of crumbs).
  5. Drizzle cold water over first bowl, use a spoon or spatula to mix it into shaggy clumps, then use your hands to quickly, gently knead it together into one ball.
  6. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flattening it slightly.
  7. Chill for 1 hour, or until firm.
  8. To second bowl of butter-flour mixture, add sugar and chopped nuts and use your fingertips to pinch them together, mashing up the buttery bits, until a loosely clumped streusel is formed. Set this aside. At this point, you can refrigerate both the crumbs and the dough overnight (and up to 3 days) and finish when you're ready.
  9. Assemble your bars: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  10. Coat an 9x13-inch cake pan with nonstick spray, and line the bottom and two sides with a fitted piece of parchment paper.
  11. On a well-floured counter, unwrap your packet of dough, sprinkle the top generously with flour, and roll dough to a 13 x 17-inch(ish) rectangle.
  12. Gently fold it into quarters and unfold it into your prepared pan. Don't obsess. It doesn't have to be perfect.
  13. Press into the bottom of the pan and 1-inch up the sides, folding the extra dough over the walls and pressing it against the sides to reinforce the edges. Patch any holes that may occur.
  14. Mix together chopped rhubarb, sugar, and pie cherries.
  15. Fill base with fruit and sugar mixture, and sprinkle evenly with crumble topping. It may seem like there's too much of it, but it will settle a bit during baking.
  16. Bake bars for 50 to 60 minutes, covering with foil if it browns before it’s done. Bars are done when they’re an even golden brown and (this is the most important part) you can see the berry juices bubbling through the crumbs. (Pro tip: This is a test for pie doneness, as well!)
  17. Let cool for 20 minutes on a cooling rack, then use the parchment sheet to lift bars out of pan and cool the rest of the way on the rack.
  18. To serve: Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if you wish, and use a serrated knife to cut into squares (or if a round pan, wedges). Bars keep at room temperature or the fridge, lightly wrapped, for 5 days. They'll last even longer properly sealed in the freezer (but who wants to wait to eat them?)
Recipe by vomitingchicken.com at http://vomitingchicken.com/fleetingdaysofrhubarb-cherrybars/