Berry Crumble Bars (Vegan)

Last week I had the challenge of getting a bit out of my comfort zone--baking without eggs, milk, or butter. An upcoming event I'm catering requests at least one vegan option and we decided to make a berry crumble bar. It turns out that making a vegan version wasn't so hard after all!

I like this recipe because it's really simple and straight forward. You'll most likely have most of these ingredients at home already. And best of all, you can make it during the winter with frozen berries! If you're not vegan you can just sub the Earth Balance for regular butter. Truth be told, it was a little too simple for me and I'm already working on an improved recipe, though it'll be a little more labor intensive with more ingredients. Even still, this is a quick and easy dessert worth sharing.

Berry Crumble Bars - Vegan

2 1/2 c organic all purpose flour 1 c + 1/2 c organic cane sugar, divided 1 c Earth Balance (or other vegan butter) 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 3 c frozen berries (I used a raspberry, blueberry, cherry blend) 4 tsp cornstarch 1 lemon, zest and juice 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. 2. Thaw frozen berries. I like to do this by soaking in water and draining thoroughly. 3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt. Cut in Earth Balance with a fork or pastry cutter, or crumble it in with your fingers until a crumbly dough forms. Using half the dough, press into an 8x8" pan. 4. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 c sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Add thawed berries and toss until evenly coated. Layer berry mixture on top of your crust. 5. Crumble an even layer of the remaining dough on top of the berries. 6. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until lightly brown and toasted on top. Let cool before cutting into squares, then top off with lemon zest.