Easy to make blueberry pie cookie bars that satisfy every berry, cookie, buttery pie craving you might have this summer!
This is one of those recipes that makes turning on the oven so worth it! I guess every recipe is worth making, but I know how unpleasant oven-heat can be during the summer. But these blueberry pie cookie bars will make a killer reward after you’re done cooking and cleaning (and sweating).
These cookie bars are one of those wonderful things you can make with any kind of summer fruit. I opted for blueberries this time, because they are a favorite. You’ll notice I’m using frozen wild blueberries instead of fresh ones. The reason for that is that I just can’t get my hands on fresh wild blueberries right now, and I very much prefer wild blueberries to classic, cultivated ones.
I simply adore wild blueberries because their color is more intense and flavor stronger. They’re smaller in size compared to cultivated blueberries, but their tastes definitely makes up for it. Once you start cooking with them, the aroma can be sensed from miles away. And also, in case you can’t get fresh fruit or just want to have some options, frozen berries are a blessing to have in the freezer.
The crust of these blueberry pie cookie bars is made the same way a classic Slovene pie crust is made. Which you’ll see is more of a buttery cookie than a classic pie crust. I love it because it’s very easy to make and you don’t have to roll it! Yep, that’s right. This crust is the type you push into the baking pan with your fingers, therefore it’s foolproof and you don’t have to worry about tearing it… because you’re expected to do it.
To finish of the bars and add a little crunch, I sprinkle both flaked almonds and pearl sugar all over. I think flaked almonds are a must, as they add a light crunch and nuttiness. The pearl sugar, however, is completely optional. Personally, I like both the look and taste, but if you don’t have it on hand, you can easily skip it.
But in case you’re thinking of getting it, I say do it. Pearl sugar is one of those ingredients that can pretty-up a dish in a second. It also lasts forever, as long as you store it right, so you can bake with it all year long.
As you can see, this recipe is a complete winner. You know how much I like easy things, as well as adjustable recipes, and you’re getting all of this with these blueberry pie cookie bars. Their buttery, soft crust is addicting and the blueberry filling will make you feel like you’re living in a gorgeous blueberry bush. (I’m really selling these hard, aren’t I? I don’t really need to though… these babies sell themselves.)
- 400g (3 cups | 14 oz) frozen blueberries (I use wild blueberries)
- 40g (3 tablespoons) granulated sugar, or to taste
- 35ml (2 1/2 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice
- 120ml (1/2 cup) water
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
- 200g (1 3/4 sticks | 14 TBSPs) unsalted butter, softened (+ more for the pan)
- 100g (1/2 cup | 3.5 oz) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 egg (medium to large)
- 300g (2 1/4 cups | 10.5 oz) all purpose flour
- a handful of flaked almonds
- 1-2 tablespoons of pearl sugar (optional)
- Make the filling first:
Put blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and water in a medium saucepan (non-reactive is best, I use enamel). Stir to combine and cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, fruit tender and the mixture is simmering; 5-10 minutes.
Next add the cornstarch. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 teaspoons cornstarch with 3 teaspoons water. Make sure there are no lumps, then add this to blueberries. Stir to combine and cook for a few minutes, just until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
- As the filling is cooling, preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F) and butter a 20-cm (8-inch) square pan. Set aside.
- Cream butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl. When combined, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg. Lastly, add the flour in 2-3 additions and beat until completely incorporated and the dough is smooth.
- Take 2/3 of the dough and press it into the baking pan with your fingers. Make sure it’s spread out evenly. Top with blueberry filling. Take the remaining dough and tear it up to pieces. Scatter those all over the blueberries. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and pearl sugar (if using).
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-45 minutes or until the top is golden and lightly brown. Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing and serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Try making these bars with other fruit too, like cherries, strawberries, plums or even peaches or apricots.