Rhubarb Strawberry Crumb Bars for Spring Fling

by on May 3, 2011

Spring Fling is here and were celebrating Spring’s bounty with Deb, Editor of Food Network, Margaret of Away to Garden, Jaden Hair of Steamy KitchenMatt Armendariz of Matt Bites, Shauna of Gluten Free Girl, Gaby of What’s Gaby Cooking and Nicole of Pinch My Salt.

This week’s theme is rhubarb and to participate, just share your rhubarb recipe link in our blog on the comments below, as well as the blogs of all our participating friends!

The world needs more rhubarb dishes. It’s fun to say.  You can freak people out by telling them the leaves are poisonous. It looks like a funky red celery stalk. It magically transforms when cooked from firm and crispy to melting-ly soft and it has an amazing sweet-tart tang.

Here in Southern California, it seems like we hardly ever see anyone using rhubarb. You’ll find the few tired stalks in the grocery produce section, and the better farmers’ markets will always have a farmer or two with their freshly hacked red canes, but I can’t remember the last time I saw rhubarb on a restaurant dessert list or in a bakery’s selection. Maybe we just aren’t hitting the right places.

Yet despite it’s So Cal scarcity, anytime we make something with rhubarb when we have guests over, they go nuts.  All the sudden it becomes Prairie Home Companion time and everyone starts recalling tales of their youth and home town stories. “I haven’t had rhubarb in forever! Reminds me of back when…”

Maybe it is a good thing we don’t get spoiled with regular rhubarb delights. It’s kind of nice having an ingredient remind us of our innocent years. It takes me back to the house of one of Dad’s cutting horse buddies (who was also our Jr. High P.E. teacher) and the evenings spent there where us kids tried to play pool while the adults gabbed about boring adult stuff, and all summer long there was almost always a rhubarb pie perched on the counter top. Regular Norman Rockwell times.

In preparing for this dish, I was determined to avoid the cliche of the rhubarb-strawberry pairing.  “Sure they are fantastic together, but it’s… too cliche,” I kept protesting in my head. However one of our photo gigs this past week was to shoot a local strawberry farm for Whole Foods, and the berries were sooooo good. So Cal rocks the strawberry fields, and when they are in season, it is hard to get them out of your head.

My no-strawberry will power lasted until literally a hour before I had time to make the crumb bars to shoot. But that last trip to the market to get eggs gave me just enough of an excuse to deviate over to a nearby farmer’s stand and get a 3-pack of juicy, sweet gorgeous strawberries.

So this bar recipe is now a Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumb Bar recipe. If you have more will power than I, just double the rhubarb and leave out the strawberries.  You can always save the pardoned strawberries for Strawberry Mojitos.

These bars are rhubarb rock stars. The base batter bakes into a wonderful soft, moist cake. The next layer is  the sweet-tart dynamic duo of the strawberries and rhubarb which have baked down to a tender tang. Then everything is finished off with a brown sugar streusel topping.  If you really want to go crazy, whip up a batch of fresh whipped cream and top the bars with a little heaven. Mamma.

-Todd

Step by Step

coat rhubarb & strawberries w/ brown sugar,  flour

spread batter in bottom of pan

layer rhubarb, strawberry mix, then add streusel topping then bake

add big dollop of whipped cream to celebrate rhubarb!

Our friends this week sharing their favorite Rhubarb recipes!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumb Bar Recipe

Yield: Serves 16.

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Adapted from Martha Stewart's rhubarb crumb bar recipe. If you want pure 'barb, just double the amount in the recipe, and leave out the strawberries.

Ingredients:

For the Streusel

  • 1/2 c (115g) unsalted Butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
  • 3/4 c (160g) packed Golden Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 t (2g) Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/4 c (160g) all-purpose Flour, plus more for pan

For the Bars

  • 1/2 lb (225g) Rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 lb (225g) fresh Strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4" thick
  • 1 1/2 T (15g) Golden Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/3 c (200g) all-purpose Flour
  • 3/4 t (3g) Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t (3g) Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 c (170g) unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c (140g) Confectioners' Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 t (3ml) pure Vanilla Extract

Whipped Cream Topping

(optional)

  • 1 c (240ml) Whipped Cream
  • 1 T (9 g) Confectioners' Sugar
  • 1 t (5ml) pure Vanilla Extract
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting the top

Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9" square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2" overhang on two sides (use a swipe of butter on edges of pan to help keep parchment flush with pan. Butter and flour parchment and pan, tapping out excess flour.

    Make Streusel

  1. Whisk together butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix together using a fork or your fingers to create large crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Make Cake

  3. In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, and 1/3 c (50g) of flour. Sift or whisk together remaining flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.
  4. In a mixer, beat butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in flour mix until just incorporated.
  5. Spread batter in prepared pan, top with rhubarb/strawberry mix then top with streusel topping.
  6. Bake 50-55 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan, then remove from pan using the overhanging parchment tabs.
  7. While bars bake, whisk together whipped cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract to firm peaks. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  8. Slice bars to preferred size, dust with confectioners' sugar and serve or top with whipped cream and serve.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

Hello! All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you. And remember in making the recipes, if using table salt instead of kosher or sea salt, make sure you reduce the salt amount.


{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Roberta May 4, 2011 at 2:28 am

Gorgeous! I can’t find Rhubarb easily down here, but still I would like to try with other fruits…what would you suggest? Many thanks

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2 White on Rice Couple May 4, 2011 at 8:58 am

Thanks! The easiest substitutes would be strawberries or really, most any other berry. But it would be fairly easy to make the crumb with apples, peaches, plums… You might have to tweak the recipe to adjust for the different juiciness levels and how the fruit bakes. Good luck!

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3 Blog is the New Black May 4, 2011 at 2:58 am

These look gorgeous! I made a simple strawberry crumb last night to use up some leftover strawberries and it was awesome, but I didn’t make a bottom layer. YUM!

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4 Jessica @ How Sweet May 4, 2011 at 3:32 am

Beautiful bars!

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5 Snippets of Thyme May 4, 2011 at 4:58 am

Yes! This is so much fun. How apropos too. I just discovered rhubarb this year. I was attracted to this recipe photo in the Martha Stewart Living magazine for April – “Poached Rhubarb with Elderflower Sabayon”. First, I learned that rhubarb is scarce in the South. When I saw some, I latched on to it. Second, poaching the rhubarb didn’t look like much, and I got a little skeptical. Third, in conclusion, this was one of my best desserts ever. The look mysterious but the subtle, sweet, tangy flavors were divine. I snatched more hard-to-find rhubarb and made a “rhubarb mostarda” to go with my grilled pork chops this past weekend. Savory this time but none the less delicious; perfect pairing with pork. Here is the “Poached Rhubarb with Elderflower Sabayon”…
http://rileymadel.blogspot.com/2011/04/poached-rhubarb-with-saboyan-cream.html

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6 White on Rice Couple May 4, 2011 at 9:02 am

I so wish we could get our hands on Elderflower in Southern California. We recently discovered a little visual trick when poaching rhubarb… add a slice of beet to the liquid to give the ‘barb an extra little pop of red. Stunningly beautiful. The savory rhubarb chops sound fantastic!

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7 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) May 4, 2011 at 5:10 am

These are just amazing looking.

I LOVE crumbles of any kind. Rhubarb + strawberry sounds divine.

Thanks for the links to the other rhubard bloggin’ people, too!

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8 Shawnda May 4, 2011 at 5:34 am

Gorgeous! I’ve never seen rhubarb on any menu, anywhere – to eat it, you have to make it at home. I think that’s what makes it one of those “magical” foods.

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9 The Blue-Eyed Bakers May 4, 2011 at 5:46 am

Well goodness don’t these just look like heaven on a plate? So lovely!

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10 Michelle May 4, 2011 at 6:32 am

I have a rhubarb patch that grows in size each year. Someday it is going to be so big that I will have to give it away. That will be the day! Rhubarb possibilities are endless!

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11 Sense of Home Kitchen May 4, 2011 at 7:00 am

These look fantastic! My rhubarb and strawberries are just starting to grow, by the end of the month I will be cooking with rhubarb and we can’t wait. We never seem to tire of rhubarb, although I freeze some, there is never that much to freeze and we can only pick from the end of May until the real heat of July so we always look forward to rhubarb season again.

~Brenda

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12 Gaby May 4, 2011 at 7:38 am

ummmm yes please! These looks so delish. And that batter looks so light and perfect. Plus crumbles are totally my thing – I would eat just the plain crumble by the handful!

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13 Patricia Koss May 4, 2011 at 7:46 am

I made a strawberry rhubarb crisp last night for a neighborhood gathering that was rained out immediately with everyone leaving right away, but not before getting a serving of their dessert.

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14 Lan May 4, 2011 at 8:55 am

i’m just a new rhubarbist — it’s something i’m still trying to incorporate in my spring diet. i do like crumb bars and strawberries tho…

as always, beautiful pictures.

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15 kankana May 4, 2011 at 8:55 am

Such pretty looking bars and looks very light and fluffy .. perfect for Spring !!

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16 Soma May 4, 2011 at 8:56 am

Your photographs make me swoon and I only wish I could reach out for a few of those bars.

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17 ShopCookMake May 4, 2011 at 10:00 am

Sounds weird and delicious at the same time. I will try it!

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18 susan May 4, 2011 at 10:36 am

I have rhubarbs on the counter waiting for me! This crumb bar could be the ticket!

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19 Deanna May 4, 2011 at 10:45 am

I was in Vegas over the weekend and had rhubarb for the first time (it really is hard to find in Orange County) when I had dinner at Bouchon. They made a salad with heart of palm, rhubarb and cipollini onions. I can’t wait to try and recreate it. I just have to go to Whole Foods to get the rhubarb.

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20 Nicole May 4, 2011 at 11:17 am

This is just beautiful! I couldn’t resist the fresh local berries either – they’re just too good right now!

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21 Carolyn Binder May 4, 2011 at 11:24 am

Hi Todd and Diane: It must be rhubarb and strawberry week! I posted a recipe on strawberry rhubarb crisp over the weekend. It was delicious. These look wonderful and would be fun to bring to work for a Friday afternoon snack with friends. You always make everything look so pretty and tasty. I wish we could grow rhubarb here, but it gets too hot and humid.

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22 Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm

This is a perfect spring/summer recipe! These sound fantastic and your photos are gorgeous as usual!

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23 Linda Susan May 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Really lovely, beautiful. Congrats!

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24 Leah May 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I live in Los Angeles now, but was raised in Minnesota. I have fond memories of eating rhubarb stalks straight from the ground. Kids loved it that way!
So what is your most reliable source in LA for rhubarb? I’ve only found it once at Whole Foods, and sorry stalks they were! You’d think they’d at least carry it frozen, but no. I’ve had no luck at farmer’s markets, either. Can you recommend any places (in LA) that are carrying it right now? I’m dying to make these crumb bars!

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25 White on Rice Couple May 4, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Leah- we’ve seen them often at the Santa Monica’s farmers market on Wednesday. And we’ve been fortunate to find them at Whole Foods and other local markets as well. Maybe they were just sold out when you were there. Try again! good luck!

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26 Cookin' Canuck May 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm

My husband grew up with a bowl of stewed rhubarb sitting on the dinner table every night during rhubarb season. So, to say that we are rhubarb fans and that these bars look fantastic would be an understatement. Lovely!

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27 Dawn May 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm

These bars are calling my name!! One of my family’s favorite rhubarb recipes is a shortcake with fresh rosemary, rhubarb and strawberries:
http://wickedgooddinner.blogspot.com/2010/03/rhubarb-strawberry-shortcake-with.html

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28 EatLiveRun May 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm

love it! I just bought my first rhubarb ever at the store last week and made a crumble with it—so delicious. Can’t wait to try your recipe next!

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29 Carly May 4, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Oh man those bars look incredible! I’m definitely saving this recipe! Rhubarb needs to be put to use more often. I made a Raspberry-Rhubarb Fool for April Fool’s Day. It was so delicious! My cream layer had decadent custard folded into it, so it was a rich but refreshing dessert. Check it out here: http://carlysulli.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/april-raspberry-rhubarb-fools/

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30 Jessica May 5, 2011 at 1:02 am

I am seeing Rhubarb all over the place lately and it makes me smile! Rhubarb reminds me so much of Spring…and I am sure happy that Spring is finally here! These crumb bars sound fantastic and I can not wait to try them. Stunning photography as always!

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31 Yo May 5, 2011 at 3:53 am

Lovely photos! I really enjoy looking at your blog.

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32 Jennie May 5, 2011 at 5:21 am

What a lovely recipe—I can’t wait to make it!

We’re just seeing the first rhubarb of the season here in NYC, and so happy for it. I used some extra to make a roasted rhubarb jam last year, and will definitely do it again this season. http://www.injennieskitchen.com/2010/05/roasted-rhubarb-jam.html

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33 Aimee @ Simple Bites May 5, 2011 at 5:52 am

Rhubarb is on every second dessert menu in Montreal restaurants. We love it up here. I also love that at neighbor lets me raid his patch every spring.

My mother’s rhubarb upside down cake is my favorite way to serve up rhubarb: http://www.simplebites.net/spotlight-ingredient-rhubarb-recipe-rhubarb-upside-down-cake/

Although your bars are calling my name. Love the step by step photos!

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34 Simply A. May 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Gorgeous photo, nicer than Martha’s(!). My husband’s a big rhubarb fan, and my parents grow it, but I’ve never been tempted until seeing these bars. Great tip about the beet!

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35 Yvette May 6, 2011 at 1:30 pm

This gives mea FANTASTIC idea — Rhubarb Strawberry Empanadas. Wish us luck! YUM! As always your photos are so inspisring!

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36 QuincesandthePea May 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm

My favorite recipe is these easy rhubarb crepes:

http://www.quincesandthepea.com/sunday-sweets-rhubarb-crepes

Rhubarb was almost impossible to find here in Washington, DC this spring :(

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37 Jackie Alpers May 7, 2011 at 7:43 am

I have a food photo to share, without the recipe this time. Its a sweet rhubarb strawberry compote topping a vanilla sundae.
http://www.jackiealpers.com/index.php#p=-1&a=0&at=0

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38 Helene May 7, 2011 at 5:49 pm

This is a recipe that I really have to try. I usually make jam with rhubarb or just a simple vanilla cake with rhubarb in it. Nice to see all the recipes from your readers.

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39 Helene May 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm

This is a old post but this rhubarb compote was quick to make. Was delicious with Lemon Poppy seeds Muffins. http://helene-lacuisine.blogspot.com/2009/05/rhubard-this-is-season.html

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40 Kathleen May 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Very cool. Could not get rhubarb in my neighborhood for two years so I made this Champagne Hibiscus Cocktail that tastes of raspberry and rhubarb for Spring Fling/ see here at http://www.dejavucook.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/champagne...

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41 QuincesandthePea May 8, 2011 at 11:53 am

I just made a version of rhubarb bars that are modeled after lemon bars. Curd on shortbread – amazing!
http://www.quincesandthepea.com/sunday-sweets-rhubarb-bars

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42 Matt May 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I made this recipe for my Mom for Mother’s Day and she loved it!

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43 Audrey Ellen @ My Scene and Herd May 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Those look beautiful and so full of that coffee cake crumb topping that is simple butter/sugar heaven.

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44 Fortycloves May 9, 2011 at 9:24 am

Spring Fling indeed! I’d love to join the fun…what is on the menu after rhubarb?

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45 Sandie (Sandie's Bitchin' Kitchen) May 13, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Hi, guys!

These look AMAZING!! I can’t wait to try them!

Also, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve given you a blog award, so feel free to head on over to my blog and check out my latest post. I don’t know if you do the blog awards stuff, but I wanted you to know how much I like your blog and the things that you post! :-)
Have a great Friday evening!

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46 Ann May 14, 2011 at 8:13 am

Omg found your blog via Katie Elliot and I’m in heaven. I absolutely love rhubarb and as someone who lives in LA now too no one eats it or serves it here. Growing up in CT, my grandparents grew it every year. We made jam, pies, and bars all the time. I always loved the tart and sweet taste. I made a cobbler last year for a dinner part and there was none left at the end of the night. I am solo making this and also some of the other ones posted.

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47 Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum May 16, 2011 at 10:31 am

I’m new to your blog, but definitely hooked. Your photography is breathtaking.

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48 Ele W. May 16, 2011 at 11:33 am

Oh, my, I wish I could send you all a big bunch of rhubarb, as I have 4 clumps of it growing just about 10 feet from my back door, and it is definitely ready to use right now!! I can see a lovely crumble in my immediate future. Thanks for the great recipe and the fab photos. Iowa has lots of rhubarb, but I had to import what I have from Minnesota, when we moved. So glad I did, because I love to share it!!

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49 Alison@cookingwithfriends May 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I was looking for something a little different to make with my rhubarb! Yum. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful photos too!

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50 Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } May 16, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Your photos are mouthwatering! I live in the Bay Area and have enjoyed Rhubarb since growing up here. My Mom would cook it it in sugar and a touch of water and we would eat it warm in a small bowl. Quite a treat! Wonder why the scarcity in So Cal? These bars look and sound absolutely amazing. I need to make these very soon.

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51 Jessica May 18, 2011 at 8:55 am

Your rhubarb stalks look incredibly red-pink and juicy. I love love love this recipe and am going to have to make it the first rhubarb recipe I try this season. It’s just beautiful. Thanks again for sharing your lovely photos and stories.

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52 Marilynn Lerum May 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm

You two are such a power couple! My husband is a filmmaker in LA as well while I’m an interior designer and wedding planner and with our powers combined we hope to do something as high-quality and passionate as you do! Amazing site, photos, and passion.

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53 Elisabeth May 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm

If you didn’t like rhubarb before, this recipe would be sure to change your mind! Oh, they were perfect. I agree that the strawberry rhubarb combination is overrated, but I’m glad I mixed them together this time!!!

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54 Kate McC May 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

Another wonderful recipe of yours that I will have to try. I love rhubarb. Last year the farmer I buy most of my greens from told me about one of his customers buying chard for the first time. A red stemmed chard called rhubarb chard. And the customer made pie with it, telling the farmer it was wonderful because it wasn’t like the tart rhubarb his mother used. Makes me smile every time I see both rhubarb and chard.

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55 Victoriascorner May 24, 2011 at 7:11 am

Your recipes and pictures are so beautiful! Congratulations!

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56 Cookin' Cowgirl May 26, 2011 at 6:47 am

You have been awarded the One Lovely Blog Award! Congratulations! I have featured you here:

http://cookincowgirl.blogspot.com/2011/05/one-lovely-blog-award.html

Reply

57 Elana August 19, 2011 at 7:38 pm

As always, this is an amazing photo. Your site is full of eye candy and a pleasure to read!

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58 Nikki May 14, 2012 at 9:26 am

That was a fantastic recipe! Mine turned out more like a coffee cake and was the tastiest the day after. Yum!

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59 Victoria Miller June 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

I made these for a potluck I went to last night and they were out of control amazing! A complete hit!

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60 Heather July 2, 2012 at 12:33 am

I just made this and have one question: how will a toothpick come out clean if it has to pass through the layer of soft rhubarb? My cake SEEMS done, but I feel like there’s no way to test it with that method and rely on it.

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61 White on Rice Couple July 2, 2012 at 9:50 am

Hi Heather,
Try to pick a spot where you don’t have a big rhubarb chunk you are sending the toothpick through. The next key is in being able to differentiate between rhubarb cling and uncooked dough cling. Just like if you are cooking say a banana bread with chocolate chips. Sometimes you’ll hit a chip and it sullies your toothpick, but that will look different than if the dough isn’t all the way cooked and it clings to your toothpick. It may also take a few stabs to find a good spot. Hope that helps and that your initial bars came out in good shape.

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62 Alisha June 5, 2014 at 7:19 pm

These look great! I’m baking them this weekend, just one question: about how long would these last in an airtight container in the fridge?

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63 White on Rice Couple June 24, 2014 at 9:49 pm

For best taste and texture I’d say 2-3 days.

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