They are ripe, juicy, fragrant and perfect for chomping down on when the heat is suffocating and sweaty. A giant peach is refreshing and almost as perfect as a gooey triple chocolate fudge brownie. In a different way of course.
I can only imagine that this peach success is how one must feel when their child finally uses a potty. Or rides a bike without training wheels. Or makes their bed without being screamed at and consequently grounded from going to the homecoming dance. I feel so matronly. And feel equally as worse for my parents since I never, ever learned to make my bed. I mean… seriously, you just are going to get right back in it in a matter of hours, right? Why all the fuss?
I had been smelling these peaches on my countertop for days when it hit me that I needed to use them or lose them. It was into a baked good or into my mouth, and someone went a little buck wild in the produce section last week. Hey – I can only eat and drink sooo many berries. At least I didn’t thoughtlessly throw the peaches into my fridge as I do with so many other fresh items I buy only to remember then nine days later. My crisper drawer: where veggies go to die.
Look at these babies. Two words: Juuuuu. Seeee.
Enter blueberry crumble bars.
I made the gooey bars back in March – binded with butter and brown sugar and oats, bursting with popped blueberries – and almost ate a chunk of the actual pan because they were completely devourable. <— I do fun things like make up words.
The only difference here? Brown butter. Yes. Say it with me now. Broooown buttttter.
Brown butter is essentially butter (duh!) made even more delicious by browning (duh, again!) until it is deeply flavorful, nutty and bubbly enough to make you want to jump in the pan.
You can take away my all-purpose flour. You maaaaybe can even make me eat something sort of vegetable-like. But you can never, ever, ever take away my buttah.
[And can I say it's healthy 'cause it's brown? 'Cause you know... that's what I say. Too far? Too much... ?]
Ah… and here’s a peek at normalness. You know… things I do everyday. Things you might do. Pan straight from oven. Fork straight from drawer. Fork straight into pan. Steaming hot bars straight into mouth. Tastebuds immediately burnt off roof of mouth. You know… life.
Brown Butter Peach Crumble Bars
makes about 12 bars
1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour [or all-purpose]
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
4 ripe, medium peaches, chopped (about 2 cups peaches)
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt and mix until combined. Set aside
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and stir continuously until it melts. It may bubble a little. As soon as you see small brown specks in the butter, remove it from the heat. This took me about 3 minutes. Add the butter, along with the vanilla, to the oat mixture. Stir until moistened. This may take a minute or two! Fold in the peaches.
Butter and flour an 8×8 baking pan. Press batter into the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes (the juicer your peaches are the longer you have to bake), the let cool completely – this can take up to 45 minutes! Cut and serve. Can be kept in the fridge or at room temperature in a sealed container.
I’d like to offer you one for breakfast, but it seems that they’ve all disappeared. Which is sad considering I haven’t been able to taste a thing since these came out of the oven.