Friday, June 18, 2021

Ruby Rhubarb Bars

These nondescript looking Ruby Rhubarb Bars hide a ton of fresh spring flavor- from the dash of local honey to backyard rhubarb and fruity ruby chocolate. Eaten alone or next to ice cream, they're an excellent addition to your Father's Day or summer picnic basket.

There are few guarantees in this world, but one thing I can always count on happening is my absolute monster of a rhubarb plant coming up every year. I've had it for 13 years now and even when we've had ice storms that killed huge trees that thing just keeps coming back. I admire it's tenacity to be honest. Luckily, rhubarb is one of those vegetables that pairs well with others and is incredibly versatile, so it very rarely goes to waste. 

One of my colleagues is a verifiable rhubarb fanatic and requests rhubarb "things" every spring, from pie to compote. This year I decided to up the ante with an extra treat perfect for backyard bbqs and picnics - bar cookies. Much like blondies in nature, these brown sugar bars are chewy, rich and a nice break from dark chocolate (wait, did I say that?). For a twist though, the batter is studded with diced rhubarb and one of my new favourite "alternate" chocolates - ruby chocolate. This variety is a beautiful pink colour and has prominent fruity, almost tart notes to it. In fact, it really is not unlike strawberries in colour and flavour, so it is a natural to add to these bars! It's also a chocolate type that is gaining more popularity, and therefore availability, but if you don't have it on hand I'd suggest white chocolate instead. 

The true test is to let these chill right down before digging in - I know, it's torture, but it is worth it, especially paired with a simple ice cream for dessert.

Ruby Rhubarb Bars
Adapted slightly from Foodness Gracious
Makes one 9" pan

1/2 cup salted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups diced rhubarb
90g ruby chocolate, chopped
  1. Heat the oven to 350F and grease a 9" square pan
  2. Combine the butter, brown sugar and honey in a bowl and microwave 40 seconds - 1 minute, until butter is melted. Stir well to combine.
  3. Let cool 1 minute, then add the vanilla and egg, whisking well.
  4. Stir in the flour until just combined.
  5. Fold in the rhubarb and chocolate.
  6. Spread evenly in the pan and bake for 35 minutes, until golden and firm.
  7. Cool completely (ideally, chill) before serving.

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