I’d like to introduce you to my absolute, without-a-doubt, not-an-ounce-of-questioning, favorite sweet treat there ever was forever and ever and ever. Take special care of this one, you guys, it’s an absolute gem.
But it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t fill you in on the treasure behind the recipe. My Sittie Jean, my grandmother. See there I go…I knew this was going to happen. All I have to do is type her name and the flood gates of grateful tears open.
My Sittie Jean. Where do I begin? She is, was and will always be the brightest light I have been blessed enough to know and love. She lit up any room with her positivity. She was humble. The most kind. Gentle. Loving. Strong. A leader. A caretaker. A listener. And one unbelievable, incredibly huge part of my childhood.
And man could that woman cook. One step in her home, stranger or family, and you were given the royal treatment. What can I get you? Here, I just happen to have a fresh peach pie sitting in the fridge, let me get you a piece. I’m telling you…this woman.
I feel fairly certain that one of her greatest joys was using the gift of her hands in that kitchen to create memories for my entire family. And she did an incredible job of it. She’d spend hours in her kitchen, all day it seemed. I saw her kitchen as her happy place. And I’m grateful she passed that love on.
As for many of you, there are certain recipes that are near and dear to my childhood. And these Rhubarb Bars are one of those. The mere sight of rhubarb gets me every time. Every single year around the end of school/beginning of summer the “carnival” came to town. Man was this a big deal. And to start off that carnival was always a parade. We would ride our bikes to my Sittie and Jiddie’s house, they had the best seat in the city for watching. And every year she made these rhubarb bars with the rhubarb she grew in her own garden.
Now, I know much of my love for this recipe is nostalgia…but throw every ounce of that out the window and I can guarantee you these will be the best way you have ever…and I mean ever..put rhubarb to use. The crust/topping is incredible…my husband is convinced I sneak caramel in there. And the filling? Lord, help me. Perfectly tart. A bit sweet. And just the right amount.
So right around this time of year, when rhubarb is in full effect, these bars are a huge priority for me. My husband is obsessed. My kiddos cry for more, literally. And they are pure comfort for me. I am telling you…they are amazing. And they could not be more simple to do; my kind of baking.
I hope you enjoy these, friends. Feeling proud and blessed to share a bit of my heart with you today. And Sittie Jean, I am so positive you are reading this…thank you for the sheer joy you brought so many…you are in my heart always. xo
Sittie Jean’s Rhubarb Bars
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Oats
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
½ Cup Unsalted Butter, melted
1 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
1 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 Cups Rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces
Mix flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and butter until crumbly. Press ½ into greased 9″ pan. Combine rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add vanilla. Pour sauce over crust. Top with other half crumb mixture. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Cool completely and cut into bars.