Hello! Today is rainy and humid here in ohio — I guess that’s how you know its spring! We wont let the weather get us down though, we still have our kitchens and potentially, these chocolate strawberry crumble bars.
A take on a classic recipe, I decided to change it up a but with the sweet/tart flavor of strawberries. I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate covered strawberries??
I have to say, while I enjoy chocolate covered strawberries, I don’t like how the chocolate coating always seems to crumble off the strawberry, you know what I mean?? So these bars are the best way to get the best of both worlds! The flavor we love, without the mess — or at least a smaller mess. 🙂
What you need to make these bars:
So here’s what you need to make these chocolate strawberry crumble bars, starting with the filling:
- Dried Strawberries
- Chocolate chips
So why dried strawberries? The reason that we use dried (and really I should say dehydrated) strawberries is so that when we re-hydrate them in the sugar, butter, and water they create a thick, jammy like mixture. Fresh strawberries will fall apart in the heat and will take a really long time to cook down to create the same texture. In fact, they may never get there. Then you’ll just have a soupy mess on your hands.
You should be able to find dehydrated strawberries in the same location you find other dried fruit in your grocery store. Don’t like strawberries? These bars work with almost any dried fruit, so pick your favorite and go from there!
So what about the egg and flour?? Those ingredients come in later in the process (see assembly) but essentially the egg and flour will act like binders in the filling to keep it stable at room temp. The chocolate chips are there, because more chocolate is always better. 🙂
Lets talk crumble
Up next is the crumble. I would say as crumbles go, this is pretty straight forward with a slight twist. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Ground almonds
- Cocoa Powder
- Brown Sugar
- Unsalted Butter
I used toasted blanched almonds to make my own ground almonds, but you could certainly use pre-ground almonds. I would recommend weighing the almonds (you’ll need 3 oz) so you get the right ratio in the mix. Don’t like almonds? You can sub in shredded coconut. 🙂
Once you have all of your ingredients, this process is very similar to making pie crust, just without the added liquid. I used a food processor to bring everything together because it’s super fast and allows the butter to break into small pieces without melting or getting too soft. You can also use your fingers, or a pastry cutter. The mixture should look like chocolate sand when you’re done.
Another crucial point for these bars is the par-bake of the crust. You want the base to be set and able to hold the wet filling, so you need to par-bake this crust for at least 20 minutes. This will ensure that it is firm and ready for the filling and topping. No soggy bottoms here!
Chocolate Strawberry Crumble Bars Assemble!
So you’ve got your filling, you’ve got the crust — so lets put them together!
This is where that egg comes in. Whipping the egg and the remaining sugar for the filling creates and emulsion that will help the filling thicken and remain solid at room temperature. Once you have that whipped up, its all about the layers.
Layer the filling over the par-baked and cooled crust, then top with the remaining crumble. You want it to look a but loose and crumbly on top, so refrain from pushing down too much. Trust me it will hold together once it’s cooled and chilled.
So that’s about it! There are some steps in this recipe — and a few of them are time consuming, but they are so worth it! I hope you enjoy these chocolate strawberry crumble bars. 🙂
Other Recipes you might like:
Chocolate Strawberry Crumble Bars
For the Strawberry Filling
- 1 1/2 Cups Dried Strawberries Chopped
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Cup Sugar divided
- 1 egg
- 7 1/2 tsp Flour
- 1/2 Cup Semi Sweet chocolate chips
For the Crust & Crumble:
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cups + 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter cut into small pieces
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup toasted ground almonds about 3 oz
Preheat your oven to 325F. Coat a 9in square baking pan with cooking spray, line with parchment paper allowing for a 2 inch overhang. Coat parchment with cooking spray, set aside.
To make the filling:
In a sauce pan, combine chopped dried strawberries,1/4 Cup of the sugar, the butter and water. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all liquid has been absorbed. About 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in another 1/4 cup of the sugar until dissolved. Set aside.
To make the Crust/Crumble:
In a food processor, combine all purpose flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, salt and brown sugar. Pulse to combine.
Add the Cup (2 sticks) + 2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces. and pulse until the mixture resemebles coarse meal. About 10 times.
Press 3, lightly packed cups of the cocoa mixture into the prepped pan. Bake until just set, about 20 minutes.
Once the crust is just set, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To complete the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric mixer whip the egg and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until light in color, about 4 minutes.
Fold in the strawberry mixture, 7 1/2 tsp flour and chocolate chips.
Spread the strawberry mixture over the crust evenly and top with remaining cocoa mixture. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips as desired.
Bake until a toothpick comes clean from the center, about 50 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan, then place into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or until ready to de-pan and serve. Cut into squares.
To store: place in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
** recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Cherry Crumb Bars.