Blackberry Shortbread Bars

Do you happen to be searching for a dessert for an Easter brunch?  You can stop.  Even if you aren't, this is my favorite spring time dessert.  These little bars are the perfect mix of a decadent buttery crust with a sweet and tangy layer of blackberries.  I made them this weekend when our place was quite the revolving door.  Between parents, in-laws and our of town friends, these went fast.  Everyone was raving about them and while quite I'm sure not any one of these groups would tell me to my face that they did not like them, I will take the fact that most came back for seconds as a good sign.

Oh, and can you possibly guess where this recipe came from?  Again, the Junior League of Houston's Peace Meals has delivered one of my favorite recipes.  I have shared a couple of recipes, but I promise you this one is worth owning.  So you should probably buy it here, and you can thank me later.

Blackberry Shortbread Bars
Adapted from Junior League of Houston's Peace Meals
Recipe Notes
Make sure and drain the extra water and juice out of the bag when you thaw the blackberries.  I didn't do this the first time and the middle layer was a little bit soupy (but still tasty).  Two other keys to making this work.  Make sure the butter is very cold when you add it.  I actually put mine in the freezer after I cut it into cubes to keep it extra cold.  This helps make a good crumbly crust.  You also want to fit your food processor with the metal blade so that it cuts through the butter and again helps with the crumbly crust.   
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
2 eggs, whisked 
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
16 ounces frozen blackberries, thawed
Step by Step
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with butter or cooking spray; set aside.  Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor for about 45 seconds.   Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and process with the flour mixture for 30 seconds or until the butter is evenly distributed but the mixture is still crumbly.  Reserve 2 cups of the crust mixture to use for the topping.  Press the remaining crust mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown; allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before adding the filling.
Combine the eggs, sugar, sour cream and flour in a large bowl.  Fold in the blackberries.  Spoon the fruit filling evenly over the crust and sprinkle the reserved crust mixture over the filling.  Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.  Let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting into bars. 


  1. Oh yum. These look so good! Great picture too.

  2. i make theses all the time! but they are NEVER that pretty! That cookbook is so awesome! love ya girl!

  3. These look fantastic! They are beautiful on your lovely white tower. I love the color. My husband is a rasberyy fanatic so I might have to try the recipe with raspberries instead. Thanks!

  4. I made these for my family for Easter and they were a huge success! Thanks for sharing this recipe at the perfect time.

  5. Ash - I made these this wknd and they were a hit!! thanks for the recipe!!


  6. Does anyone know if these could be made using frozen strawberries?

  7. I would love to know the same thing! I have had something similar with strawberries and I don't seem to think you would make any changes, but if you make these, please share because I would love to know the results!

  8. I'm happy to report that yes, these can be made with strawberries, however, a 16 oz package of frozen strawberries really isn't enough for the recipe. Next time, I plan on using at least 24 oz of thawed frozen strawberries if not more. If you follow the recipe, you get more of a shortbread dessert instead of a strawberry shortbread dessert. Just an FYI to those who were interested :)

  9. That is so good to know because I was interested in the same thing. It has been on my list of things to try, but haven't gotten there yet. Thank you for reporting back and I will try it with 24 oz and see how it goes!

  10. Thanks Amy for sharing about the amount for strawberries. I made these last night for a brunch today and I used 24 oz of strawberries and everyone was raving about them at the luncheon. I live in California and the strawberries are just fabulous right now so I was thinking of trying fresh sometime but the frozen worked great.