Peach Crumble Bars

Just Peachy
I have a problem. A peachy problem—my peach cup runneth over. And, now I have to figure out ways to use or preserve the peaches, so they don’t go to waste.

The obvious solutions of eating them as a snack, slicing them up for the freezer, as well as handing them out to friends have already happened. I have made a cobbler or three. And, this weekend I will be canning some of the peaches in light syrup. I might also be making ice cream. But there are still some left…and more on the tree.

What to do with the leftovers? Sure, I could make a pie. But, the thought kind of makes me tired. I’m thinking this situation screams for a bar cookie—Peach Crumble Bars. I figure if it can be done with apple pie and pecan pie, why not peaches?

Peach Crumble Bars Recipe
Adapted from Pastry & Beyond
Yields 16 bars

For the crust and crumble
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the filling
2 cups peaches, peeled
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square oven-proof dish and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper so that it hangs about 2 inches over on each side.

Prep the peaches
Chop the peaches into approximately 1/2 to 1-inch pieces. Mix the peaches with lemon juice and then with the almond extract. Toss with the cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.

Make the crust
Mix the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and stir with a spoon or spatula.

Place 2/3 of the mixture into the lined oven-proof dish. Using your fingertips, spread the mixture evenly.

Assemble the bars
Cover the crust with the peach mixture—but do not include any of the excess liquid. Reserve the liquid.

Crumble the remaining 1/3 of the dough over the peaches. Using your fingertips, press the crumble so it can stick to the peaches.

Bake the bars
Bake the bars until the top becomes golden brown and the crumbles are crunch (about 33 to 35 minutes).

Make the sauce
While the bars are cooking, pour the reserved peach liquid into a small pan set on low heat and cook, stirring continuously, until it thickens.

When the bars are out of the oven, drizzle the sauce over the baked bars.

Cool the bars thoroughly
Allow the bars to cool at room temperature for almost 1 hour. Then place the dish in the fridge for extra 1-1/2 hours so that the bars are completely cool before cutting into 16 sections.

To store
Store the Peach Crumble Bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months

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