These classic dessert bars are made with a layer of fresh, summer strawberries and a hefty drizzle of the quickest homemade caramel - SO good!
Course Dessert Bars
Keyword Strawberry Crumble Bars
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 45minutes
Total Time 1hour
Author Stephanie Simmons
FOR THE CARAMEL
1can(14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
FOR THE CRUMBLE MIXTURE
1 1/2cuprolled oats
1 1/2cupall-purpose flour
1cupcoconut sugarSO good but you can sub brown sugar, too
1 3/4cupstrawberries, cut into chunksAbout 12 medium strawberries
Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 pan (or a 9x13 if doubling the recipe) with parchment paper and set aside.
Make the caramel: Add the butter and brown sugar to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir, until the butter is melted and mixture is puffy and bubbling (3-5 minutes). Whisk in the condensed milk and turn the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the caramel is thick and coats the back of your stirring spoon (5 more min). Turn off heat and set aside.
Make the crumble mixture: In a medium/large mixing bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until everything is well-combined. (See photos). There will be crumbs and lumps of different sizes - that's what we want!
Bake: Add two thirds of the crumble mixture to the prepared pan, pressing into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes. (This is a good time to cut your strawberries!)Next, evenly lay the chopped strawberries over the top of the crust, and pour about HALF (3/4 to 1 cup) of the caramel mixture over the top (see note below). Sprinkle with the remaining crumble mixture (if it seems really dry, add 1 extra tbsp of melted butter, and stir to moisten things up before sprinkling over bars). Bake this for 20-25 more minutes. The strawberries should be tender when pierced with a fork and the crumb topping will be browned.
Serve and Store: Let cool completely before slicing into bars. If you want to enjoy immediately, it won't hold its shape as bars, but you can scoop it into bowls and enjoy as a fruit crisp. Throw some ice cream on top, while you're at it!Cover leftovers and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
NOTE: This recipe makes twice the amount of caramel that you need for the bars - here are your options:
Make half of the caramel recipe, and use the remaining half a can of condensed milk as coffee creamer (yummy!)
I DON'T recommend using the full amount of caramel in a double batch of this recipe - it will be too much and your bars can get soggy. Instead, double the recipe and divide it between two pans to use up the full amount of caramel in that manner.
Make the full amount of caramel and use the remaining half for general eating and dipping fruit into. This also makes a yummy coffee creamer!