These Oatmeal Rhubarb Crumble Bars are like a portable version of fruit crisp! Buttery, sweet, and tangy these are a favorite of ours all summer long.
I loved grilling out with you all the past few weeks, but I’ve got quite a stack of dessert recipes waiting here in the wings. These Oatmeal Rhubarb Crumble Bars are one of those I’ve just been itching to share with you all.
Somewhere in the midst of the cookout madness, I also decided to make over 200 cookies to sell at our neighborhood garage sale. (I also decided I’m crazy). I made some of my favorites from the site- classics like The Chewy, Triple Peanut Butter Chip, and Monster Cookies–but I also branched out and made some off-the-beaten-path cookies, including these Rhubarb Crumble Bars.
This technically isn’t a new recipe. I originally shared it on the blog way back in the early days. But by this point they’re so far removed in the archives, I knew it was worth sharing them again. Besides that, I wanted the pictures for this recipe to do justice to how scrumptious they really are.
Back when I first made this recipe, I was still very much a “follow the recipe exactly as written” kind of girl. Since then, I’ve learned that there’s always room for variations and tweaks, so on this revisit, I took the liberty of changing a few things based on personal preference.
The first thing I did? Add more nuts. I just like the crunchier texture they lend to the crumble. I also used pecans instead of walnuts this time. I think I like the pecans better overall, but I’m sure any kind of nut would fit in just fine.
The next change? Spice it up! I added a good sprinkling of ginger to the rhubarb filling (ginger + rhubarb sets my heart a pitter patter) and a hefty sprinkle of cinnamon to the crumble. I heart cinnamon.
The result is a gooey, tangy sweet center surrounded by golden crumbly oatmeal topping. This dessert is proof that rhubarb doesn’t need strawberry. It’s a strong fruit that can stand on it’s own two…ummm…stalks.
These bars are wonderful straight from the oven all warm and gooey. If you put it in a bowl with a scoop of ice cream, you’ve got yourself a divine little crisp. But you can also stick these in the fridge and allow them to set up into perfectly portable lunch bag treats. I served them at room temp at the garage sale, and they were a huge hit. Whatever way you slice it (or scoop it) your family will love these rhubarb crumble bars!
For the crust:
- 3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (all purpose also works fine)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
For the filling:
- 3 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the crumble:
- In a medium sized bowl combine nuts, oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, soda, and cinnamon. Add the pieces of butter and use two forks, a pastry cutter, or your fingers to blend the butter and oat mixture together until crumbly. I'll be honest, this is one of my least favorite kitchen tasks. I usually start with the pastry cutter then give up and go for the messier (but easier and faster) finger method. Set aside.
For the filling:
- Combine rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, water, and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and allow to cook, uncovered, until rhubarb begins to break down and mixture is a translucent pink color (about 15 minutes). Stir in vanilla. Remove from heat.
- Press half of the crumble mixture into the prepared pan. Pour all of the rhubarb mixture over the crust. Top with remaining crumble. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is golden.