Blackberry Crumb Breakfast Bars



Blackberry Breakfast Bar


The blackberries I used for this recipe were picked by my husband and me last summer near our house. We have a ton of them in our freezer; so anytime I can, I use them in a recipe. This one is actually a raspberry recipe that I found on either Goop’s website or “What Katie Ate”, both great resources for delicious food. I suspect it is from Goop, though. It’s on a piece of paper I printed from either website. I just don’t remember which.

Also, even though I baked these longer than was called for, I still don’t think they got as done and crispy as they are supposed to be. But they are very delicious.

Crust & Crumb

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces


1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 pound fresh or frozen blackberries or raspberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside. Combine flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until just combined. Add butter and pulse until loose crumbs form. Reserve 1 cup of the mixture and set aside.

Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands to push the crust into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown – about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the blackberries or raspberries, lemon juice and melted butter and toss gently until the berries are evenly coated. Spread the berry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Top with the reserved cup of crumble mixture and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.


Blackberry Crumb Breakfast BarsBlackberry




A Call for Entries

Branbury Tarts


I am beginning TWO new projects within my blog: 

1: An art project of me wearing the same dress in every photo. (I’ll explain the meaning in a later post)


2: A continuation of my baked goods project, but with other people’s mother’s or grandmother’s recipes. So! If you have a special baked good you would like to share, please send it to me with perhaps why it’s special. I will attempt to make and photograph it and upload it to the blog. Also, if you want to include a photo of your loved one, I’ll include it in the post, as well.

Please send all info to:

(By sending me the recipe and/or photos, you agree to have me upload them to my blog. However, if you change your mind later, I will happily take them down when requested.)

Thank you in advance. This project has meant a lot to me with my attempt to help keep the memory of my great grandmother alive. I hope I can do the same for you if you are interested.

Branbury Tarts Reprised

This is the second time I’ve included this recipe, but I felt the photos were not so hot the first time. The goal is to become a better baker, as well as a better photographer. Plus, if you missed it the first time, you’ll be glad you saw it here. These are GOOD!

Branbury Tarts

3 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 3/4 cups flour (I used all purpose)
Strawberry preserves ( I used raspberry preserves)
Pecan halves (I used sliced almonds)

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, salt, vanilla and flour. Mix well. Form into balls the size of walnuts and place on cookie sheet. Dent each ball in the center. Fill dents with small preserves. Top each with a pecan (or several almond slices) and bake in a slow oven 325 degrees until brown.

Tip: it takes about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven when the bottoms of the tarts begin to get crispy brown.

Holding a photo of my grandmother while sitting in her mother's chair.
Holding a photo of my grandmother while sitting in her mother’s chair.

This new art project will primarily be in black and white; however, this photo looks better in color. Ah! The magic of the digital world.

Then why do I feel like I’m cheating?

Spicy Fruit Bars

Fruit bars
Spicy fruit bars with molasses, apples and cloves.

These are really rich, but delicious. I did not have any prunes, so I used Craisins instead. But they still turned out really good.


1 cup pared chopped apple
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup prunes (I used Craisins)
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup butter
2 cups flour (I used gluten-free with 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 cups firmly-packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a saucepan, combine apple, raisins, prunes (Craisins), molasses, orange juice and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thick. Cool. Combine remaining ingredients except nuts in a large mixing bowl. Mix at low speed until well-blended. Stir in walnut and fruit mixture. Pour into a well-greased 13-by-9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and then frost and cut into bars.

Orange Frosting

Combine 1/4 cup butter, 1 teaspoon grated orange rind, 2 tablespoons light cream and 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix at medium speed until well-blended. If necessary, thin with a few more drops of cream.

Jar of Craisins

Walnut (or Hickory) Cake

Hickory cake
Walnut cake with buttercream frosting

This is a recipe from my great grandmother’s collection she cut out of one of the Chattanooga, Tennessee newspapers back in the 60s or 70s. It was submitted by a lady from Sewanee, Tennessee.

I had a few problems with it – of course.

The entire time I was making it, I kept thinking, “As long as it LOOKS good, it doesn’t have to taste good.”

The batter resembled biscuit dough at first. Hmmm. I knew that wasn’t right. I also knew I followed the recipe exactly and measured correctly. Perhaps there was a misprint in the paper. It’s happened before.

So! I added more milk. I was afraid to add too much, so the batter was still pretty thick. It also cooked faster than expected. And it didn’t rise as high as it should have. But, the batter had been thick. So again, I bet I should have added more milk.

On to the icing it called for: Honey frosting – uncooked

It was more like a glaze, and NOT very tasty. Because I had an image in my head as how I wanted to photograph the cake, I chucked the “glaze” and went with butter cream icing so I could add chopped walnuts to the top. But by this point, I was getting frustrated. So instead of measuring the exact ingredients for the buttercream frosting, I just started dumping them into the mixer. Well, that was fine until I got to the milk. Instead of measuring 2 tablespoons, I just poured in the milk.

Too much, of course. So I added more confectioners’ sugar. And then more. It never did get thick enough for frosting, so I knew it would not stay on the sides of the cake.

Great. But it turned out better because I let the frosting pour over the sides. It looked pretty cool – in most spots. Then I chopped some walnuts and sprinkled them on top; and believe it or not, the cake turned out to be very delicious. But I wouldn’t follow my instructions very closely if you want to save yourself some trouble.


2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs separated
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cups chopped walnuts

Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten egg yolks. Sift flour, salt and baking powder. Add alternately with vanilla and milk. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Test with a toothpick in center of cake until it comes out clean.

Honey Frosting – uncooked

1/4 cup honey
1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Combine all ingredients. Beat for 2 minutes or longer until of spreading consistency. Three tablespoons of cocoa may be added for Chocolate-honey frosting.


3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream (I used milk because I did not have cream)

Combine butter and sugar in a standing mixer on a low speed until well-mixed, and then increase speed and mix for about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and beat for another minute. Add more cream for spreading consistency.

Walnut cake slice
A slice of old fashioned walnut cake.

Prize Date Bars – Mrs. Shuptrine’s

Date bars
Mrs. Shuptrine’s prized date bars.

My great grand mother had two date bar recipes, and I can never remember which one is better. I think I like the other recipe better now that this one is made, but this one is really good, too. It does call for cloves, though. Next time I will probably leave them out. Cloves tend to taste a little bitter to me. I like sweet tastes.


1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour sifted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 packages dates, cut

Cream butter, add sugar and vanilla. Then drop the whole eggs in and beat thoroughly. Sift all dry ingredients and add gradually to egg mixture. Lastly, add nuts and dates.

Line square baking pan with waxed paper and pour in batter. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool before cutting into squares.

Roll in powdered sugar. (I just sprinkled some on top)

Old fashioned dessert

Date bars with nuts

Date bars


Cinnamon Honey Butter

Cinnamon honey butter
Cinnamon honey butter in a jar.

I did not make this. It was a Christmas present from my sister, and it is really good. I just liked the little tag, so I though I would take a few photos.

1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine butter, honey, cinnamon and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer and serve at room temperature.

Also, this is not her recipe – that I know of. I found this one on the internet.

Cinnamon honey butter
Cinnamon honey butter in a jar.

Banana Pudding – attempt no. 1


Banana pudding recipe
An old fashioned southern recipe of my great grandmother’s.

This is another recipe of my great grandmother’s. It came out pretty good, but not perfect. My first mistake was using a bowl that was too large for the recipe. I think it calls for a deep, glass pie dish? But to my defense, it was all I had. I plan to re-do this with the correct container – or at least something close to it.

The other thing I did wrong was I put in too many vanilla wafers.

“There’s no such thing,” you say? Well, you may be right. It still tastes pretty good. I think I would like a little more pudding and a little less wafer, though.

I also elected to make the meringue, even though I don’t really care for it. I may try my hand at whipped cream next time. I bet it has more flavor.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything due to the holidays, as well as a few migraine issues. But the good news is, I’m on a new medicine which is preventing the headaches in the first place. After 25 years of agony, I seem to be headache-free. So, YEA!

Soutern banana pudding
My great grandmother’s recipe card of banana pudding.

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Vanilla wafers
5 or 6 ripe bananas

Combine sugar, flour and salt in a large pot. Stir in milk and cook until thickened. Beat eggs, and add a cup of hot milk to them. Then pour all back into the pot and cook about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Line casserole dish with wafers, top with bananas, then a layer of custard. Continue to layer with wafers, bananas and custard.

Can use 3 egg yolks in custard, then after putting layers in casserole, beat egg whites, add 1/4 cup sugar. Pile on top of pudding and bake at 425 degrees about 5 minutes.

My Favorite Cookies – well, not mine…

Cherry and almond cookies out of my great grandmother's collection
Cherry and almond cookies out of my great grandmother’s collection.

I’m not sure the real name of these cookie bars. That is the name they were given when they were sent in to our local newspaper – YEARS ago. I just call them, Cherry Almond Cookies.

They may not be MY favorite cookies, but they could be. They are really good. The only substitution this time were almonds in place of the pecans. I just didn’t have any. I could have used walnuts, but I thought almonds would work better.

My Favorite Cookies

1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon milk (I used almond milk)

Mix all ingredients and spread 1/4 inch thick in shallow 10×15 inch pan. (I used a smaller one since that’s all I have). Cover with following meringue and bake about 20 minutes at 325 degrees. (It took my oven a LOT longer than that. You’ll just have to keep checking it.) Cut into bars.


1 egg white
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons chopped maraschino cherries
3/4 cup ground pecans (I used sliced almonds)
3/4 cup coconut (Optional)

Beat egg white until stiff; add sugar, beat constantly. Add extract and fold in cherries, nuts and coconut.

Stacked Cherry Almond CookiesFavorite Cherry Almond Cookies

Cherry Upside-down Cake – Twice

Cherry Upside-down CakeThis is my second attempt at this recipe. I tend to be in a rush whenever I do – well….anything. When I made the first cake, I used a can of cherry pie filling instead of just a can of cherries. Duh. It was in the baking aisle and I wasn’t paying attention.

So, back to the store I went. However, I could not find a 1 pound can of cherries, as the recipe calls for. I was only able to find 15 ounce cans of cherries. So, I bought two cans with the plan of doing the math later.

And yes, I forgot to do the math later. I used BOTH cans instead of 1 and a half. Of course, I did not figure that out until AFTER I placed the batter on top of ALL of the cherries. (Read here of another bone-head-recipe-misread here.)

Argh! The batter was flush with the edge of the cake pan. It had overflow written all over it. So I scooped out most of the batter, spooned out some of the cherries and then poured the batter back on top. I was sure it was ruined and that the cherries would be mixed in with the cake. But I was pleasantly surprised when I turned it upside down.

I do think I flipped it too soon, though. The recipe calls for waiting 5 minutes after taking it out of the oven, but perhaps you should wait a little longer so the cherry juice won’t slide over the sides. But, maybe it’s supposed to do that.

At any rate, it is really good. I’m guessing the better quality the cherries, the better the cake. Mine are from Wal-Mart, but still pretty good.

Cherry Upside-down Cake

Cherry mixture:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1 pound can red sour pitted cherries
Several drops of red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Melt butter in 9x9x2 pan (I used a round cake pan). Place cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan and mix well. Drain cherries – keeping juice. Stir 3/4 cup of cherry juice into sugar mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches boiling point. Reduce heat to very low and cook for 5 minutes – still stirring. Stir in food coloring, drained cherries and almond extract. Pour mixture over butter in baking pan and stir to blend.

Cake mixture:
2/3 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg – room temperature if possible
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk – and again, room temperature if possible. This helps make the cake more moist or fluffy. Something like that. I just read about that trick)

Cream butter; and then add sugar and cream until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Sift flour and baking powder together and add to creamed mixture alternately with milk – beginning and ending with flour. Spoon batter over cherry mixture in pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. Cool 5 minutes (I’d wait a little longer if I were you). Place a platter over cake pan and flip upside down. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream or ice-cream.

Cherry Upside-down Cake with vintage recipeAbove is the original cake I made with cherry pie filling accidentally, as well as my great grandmother’s recipe. I think she was trying to be funny by writing the name of the recipe upside down. I can only assume she cut off the name of the recipe and needed to remind herself what it actually was. I love the fact she wrote it upside down. It always makes me smile whenever I see it.

Cherry Upside-down Cake
Cherry Upside-down Cake

Lemon (Cup) Cake

Lemon Cupcake

I used a Lemon Cake recipe from my great grandmother’s cookbook, “Rumford Complete Cookbook,” but I made cupcakes instead. I haven’t made cupcakes in….. about 40 years. I made a mess. I over-filled most of the cups, and they spilled over and baked to the top of the muffin tins.

The second batch came out a little better. I had a lot of fun at any rate. And they taste really good.

Lemon Cake

2 scant cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 rounding teaspoons baking powder
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour

Beat the butter with half of the sugar; add gradually the remainder of the sugar together with the well-beaten eggs. Next, put in the grated lemon, then the milk, and then lastly the flour sifted with the salt and baking powder. Bake about 40 minutes in a moderate oven, (350 degrees) and cover with lemon frosting. (See below)

Lemon Frosting

Juice of 2 lemons
About 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Strain the juice of the lemons into a bowl and add the sugar, finely sifted, until thick enough to spread. The exact quantity of sugar will depend on the size of the lemons. Pour over the top of the cake, and spread smooth with a thin-bladed knife that has been dipped in water.

Yeah, forget that.

It did not work. That is the second time I’ve tried to make frosting from this cookbook.  The cake is very good, but the frosting was just a thick paste that did not taste good at all. And forget trying to spread it. And to top it all off, there wasn’t enough to cover a cake, or all of the cupcakes, anyway.

So! I went to the internet in search for what ingredient might be missing, and I found it – BUTTER. I added 1 stick of butter and a small amount of almond milk and a little bit more powdered sugar to thicken it back up – and it turned out perfectly. Oh, and I decided to get wild and add yellow food coloring since it was supposed to be lemon frosting.

After I iced the cupcakes, I sprinkled them with shaved coconut I bought at the Fresh Market. They look good, but I think the cupcakes would be better without the coconut. . . and I like coconut. It was just too much texture for those moist cakes.

Lemons for cupcakes

Lemon Cupcake

Lemon Cupcakes with FlagsLemon CupcakeLemon Cupcakes with Flags

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