So. There may be something that makes me happier than a good bar cookie, but just at the moment, nothing is coming to mind.
That having been said, let's discuss the Blackout Crumb Bar, a recipe I discovered on the inside label of Love N Bake's "Chocolate Schmear" filling.
But first things first. What is this chocolate schmear business? I came into this bounty not long ago when aforementioned company sent me a sample. It comes in a can sort of like almond paste that you'll find in the grocery store baking aisle--only it's chocolate. It's got this incredibly thick texture, and in the name of science I felt it necessary to take a spoonful before baking with it (it tastes good on its own. Whew!).
But it has found its perfect vehicle with the Chocolate Blackout Crumb Bar. Kind of like a cross between crumb cake and fudge bar cookies, these babies are dense, chocolate, crumbly and buttery--that is to say, pretty delicious. And while it's a slight stretch, I still think these bars are a very appropriate way to celebrate National Coffee Cake Day.
Chocolate Blackout Crumb Bars
Adapted from Love N Bake
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar, tightly packed
- 1 teaspoon salt (original recipe calls for just 1/4 teaspoon but I like salt)
- 1 can (minus a spoonful or two) Love'n Bake Chocolate "Schmear" Filling
Grease a 9-inch square pan with butter and line with parchment paper. Set aside. Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in the flour, sugar and salt until well mixed. Reserve ½ cup of the crumb mixture. With floured hands press the remaining crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven until edges are golden brown, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Spread the baked crust with the "Schmear" Chocolate Filling. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs over the chocolate. Continue baking the pastry until the crumbs have browned approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack then cut into bars.