This is my favorite time of year in the garden - the rhubarb is in season - and we have a bumper crop this year! The season for rhubarb is short, so there is always a flurry of baking activity when it comes up. I always have to make Rhubarb Jam, a variety of family-favorite rhubarb pies, and my favorite Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp - but we always get around to making Raspberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars!
As much as everyone in the family talks about how much they love a Strawberry-Rhubarb combination, I have to admit that fresh, sweet raspberries are my favorite to mix with tender rhubarb! And the brown-sugar oatmeal crust and topping for these delicious bars tastes just like the freshest, chewiest oatmeal cookie you ever had.
Around Northeastern Ohio, rhubarb is not as common, and if you don't grow it yourself, you will pay a hefty price at the grocery store or farm market - if you can even find rhubarb when it is in season!
For these bars, I pick the tenderest rhubarb stalks first thing in the morning. After cutting off the leaves (which contain oxalic acid and are toxic), I cut the stalks into pieces no bigger than 1/4-inch thick - a lot finer than what you would use for pies or jam.
But today, the kids were racing for the lake, and there wasn't much time to snap a few photos before they were diving into these. Which reminded me, these are actually pretty good warm too, especially if you like warm oatmeal cookies from the oven!
Here's to the start of summer, raspberries and rhubarb! Yum............