Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fresh Blackberry Shortbread Bars

Last week I attended a blogging event sponsored by Driscoll's berries. They had Chef Rick Rodgers there doing a cooking demonstration, photographer Caren Alpert leading a photo workshop, and a baking contest for us bloggers.

I brought Blackberry Shortbread Bars. 

Blackberry Shortbread Bars

2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 t. vanilla bean paste
1 cup white sugar
1 t. baking powder
2 3/4 cup flour + 2 T
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 large egg
12 oz fresh blackberries, sliced in half (two, 6oz containers)

Brown the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden, and will finally start to brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom. Don't let it burn! Remove from stove and stir in vanilla. Transfer to a small dish and cool in freezer until firm (~30 minutes)

Preheat oven to 375˚
Butter a 9 x 13 pan

1) In a medium bowl whisk together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt, and cinnamon
2) Dice chilled butter and add to the flour mixture; add egg; mix with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly.
3) Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan pressing firmly
4) Add blackberry halves in a single layer until crust is covered
5) Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over fruit. Bake 25-30 minutes until the top is slightly brown.
6) Cool completely in pan before cutting

The Driscoll's Event

Chef Rick and his team prepared some really yummy food for the event. I'm going to post all their recipes tomorrow, they would be perfect for a holiday dinner.  My favorite dish of the evening was The Cheese Tartlets with Blackberry. They were light and flaky, salty and sweet, so good!

Blackberry Cobbler Cocktails


Dinner: Pancetta Wrapped Pork with Blackberry-Sage Compote, smashed sweet potatoes, and roasted fennel.

Dessert: Blackberry Pumpkin Cake with Granola, and Blackberry-Pear Cobbler with vanilla ice cream

I brought my friend, and fellow blogger, Rachael Hunter as my guest. She's not the supermodel (although she is gorgeous) or a food blogger, but I thought she might enjoy this little event. She was quick to make friends and promote her mommy Happy Mommy Blog to everyone.

She had the Driscoll's guys cracking up, especially when she accidentally got locked on the roof of the building after sneaking up there to grab a smoke. She was frantically calling my cell which was in my purse, out of sight, on the floor. Thankfully I saw the glow and we rescued her.

Some of the dessert entries. The winner was announced today. I didn't win. But it sure was fun participating.

I love making shortbread bars. Because I really love butter.

**Big thanks to Driscoll's for inviting me to the party and for giving me coupons to buy berries. YAY!

Come back tomorrow for the recipes from Rick Rodgers!!!

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