Any type of berry will work in this recipe, I just happen to be fond of blackberries. As berries go, blackberries are my favorite, followed closely by blueberries. These bars are moist and delicious and hard to resist.
They were absolutely delicious, but I would change one thing next time. The mozzarella is mixed in with the streusel topping, which is rather good, but the pieces on top became quite brown and too chewy. This took away from the bar. So next time, and I’ve adjusted this in the recipe below so it doesn’t happen to you, I would separate the streusel topping, add cheese to just the half for the crust, and leave it out of the top layer. Another option is to sprinkle the cheese on top of the berry layer and then add the topping.
Don’t try to cut or move these until they are completely cooled, otherwise they’ll fall apart. They need to be cooled off in order to bind together. Definitely delicious!
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1-1/2 cups quick cooking oats
- 1-1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups (4 oz.) Sargento® Artisan Blends® Shredded Whole Milk Mozzarella Cheese, divided
- 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
- ⅔ cup blackberry preserves
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
- ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray bottom and sides of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Combine oats, 1-1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and baking soda in a large bowl or in the bowl of your food processor. Stir or pulse to combine. Cut in 1 cup butter with a pastry blender or two knives until crumbs are the size of small peas. For food processor, pulse cold butter.
- Divide streusel mixture into two equal halves. In one half, stir in 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Press cheese half (3 cups) of oat mixture firmly into baking dish. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.
- Combine blackberries, preserves, vanilla, remaining flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Stir in remaining ½ cup cheese, pecans (if using) and lemon peel; mix well. Spread mixture over crust. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over blackberry mixture.
- Bake 25 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Cool completely. Cut into bars.
- Mix one tablespoon of the milk into the powdered sugar. It may be a little stiff, but keep stirring until all dry sugar is gone. If need be, add milk one drop at a time to loosen the mixture. Add additional drops of milk until you reach a thick, but drizzling consistency. Drizzle over individual bars and allow to set up.
Sargento did compensate me for the time I dedicated to making this recipe and putting this post together for you, however my opinions on flavor and preparation are 100% mine. :)