What is muchness? A state of being, a feeling, an emotion? A confidence or fearlessness? Or perhaps it’s a comfortableness with who you are; owning up to your quirks and loving them for everyone to see and in my case, hear.
Have you ever felt that you’re losing your muchness? I have…. it’s like there is a dimness where my eyes used to sparkle. Like everything I used as a landmark has shifted and suddenly I don’t know who I am anymore or where I fit in, whatever I used as a bearing – gone. For some reason my shiny red shoes aren’t quite as alluring and haven’t seen the dance floor in a while. My car concerts haven’t been quite as rockin’ and I’m driving with the windows rolled all the way up, sun roof tightly sealed in fear of rain whether from the sky or my tears.
While these sassy, ruby Raspberry Breakfast Bars might not remedy all your lost muchness, they will give you something to look forward to. Whether it’s your commute to the office (and yes, I live in a small town where the longest commute is all of four blocks…but some of you out there on the interwebs must face daily traffic of horrific proportions), slugging through your never ending to-do list, or just facing the mundaneness of everyday life. These bars might not give you instant passion. I can’t guarantee you’ll gain immediate confidence or inspiration. But hopefully they’ll put the start of a little sparkle back in your muchness….
very minimally adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Crust & Topping:
- 1 1/2 C Flour
- 1 C Brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 1/4 C Rolled oats
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 3/4 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 C Butter, cubed, still cool
- Combine all the ingredients until loose crumbs form. I used my hands because it seemed like fun, however you can use a food processor.
- Reserve about 1 1/2 C of the topping. Pour the rest into a greased 9×13 pan making sure the crumb mixture is level and reaches all corners. Do not pack down profusely.
- Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
- Let the crust cool while you make the filling.
- 1/4 C Brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 Tbsp Grated lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 Lb. Fresh raspberries
- 1/4 C Fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp Butter melted
- Whisk together all ingredients, except the raspberries, until well combined.
- Add the raspberries and mix gently using your hands (again: it was kinda fun getting my hands all berry stained).
- Spread the raspberry mixture over the prebaked crust. Sprinkle with the remainder of the reserved crust mixture.
- Bake 35-45 minutes until the edges are bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
- The original recipe calls for 3/4 C butter for the crumb mixture. Because I am a low-fat-freak I only used a scant 1/2 cup. The crumb mixture could have stuck together better. I’m sure more butter would be yummier & produce a crispier crust.
- I left the bars covered on the counter for one day. Then I wrapped them in individual servings and put them in freezer. Where I could not take a bite every time I walked by.
- If you’re wanting a super sweet bar, you might be disappointed. These are tangy-ish. Not really for desert, hence the name.
- Just a word of advice: if using fresh, local berries buy more than one pound. Buy two. Or more. Unless you want to make a return trip to the farmer’s market like I had to do.
- And PLEASE: always use fresh ingredients. You’re food will taste so much better. I promise. There is no bottled lemon juice or frozen produce in this house. Buy what is in season.
- Ok. That’s it. Enjoy. I already feel my muchness returning….