Happy Mother’s Day! Not only is the following dessert a favorite of my mother, the timing is ideal, as rhubarb’s short season is upon us. If you haven’t baked with rhubarb before, this recipe is a very good starting point.
I am not sure how many people would offer up rhubarb bars when asked their favorite dessert, perhaps favoring something including the words chocolate or ice cream! The first time I made these, my husband, who did not grow up eating rhubarb, only ate one because he thought he should, kindly acknowledging my effort. I remember well the look on his face as he took his first bite. He sort of went slack-jawed and managed a simple, “These are amazing.” My kids love them, too.
Over time, I have made tweaks to the recipe, adding ground ginger to enhance the flavor and slivered almonds for crunch. For the crust, I often use coconut oil instead of butter, which creates a crisp, delicious base that is a perfect contrast to the slightly gooey top. You may use butter, if you prefer. To boost the coconut flavor, I usually add some shredded coconut. But never fear, if you are not a coconut fan, this may be omitted.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (see note)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
- ½ cup extra virgin coconut oil or butter, very soft or melted
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut (optional)
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups finely chopped rhubarb
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- Cream together all crust ingredients. The dough will be fairly stiff. Press dough into a 7x11 or 9x9 pan (I use a glass Pyrex pan). Bake at 350 degrees F for 13-15 minutes, or until just cooked.
- While the crust is baking, prepare the filling: Beat eggs, and then add the sugar, optional shredded coconut, flour, ginger, and salt. Gently stir in the rhubarb and almonds.
- Spoon the filling carefully over the hot crust. Bake for 30- 35 minutes more. Cool completely before cutting into bars. I store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator.