Monday, 7 July 2014

Rhubarb and Custard Cookie Bars

cookie bars topped with rhubarb jam and a custard flavoured icing

These Rhubarb and Custard Cookie Bars were born after a neighbour of my mum’s handed in some fresh rhubarb from their garden. I had it in my kitchen for a few days, and I was intending to make it into some tasty jam. Which I would then add into these tasty bars inspired by those old school rhubarb and custard sweeties.

courtesy of keepitsweet.co.uk
But alas, the rhubarb wasn’t that fresh and I had to dispose of it before I could use it. Thank goodness for ready-made supermarket rhubarb jam! The jam I used had ginger in it too, which was a nice addition, but not necessary for these bars, if you can get plain rhubarb.

cookie bars topped with rhubarb jam and a custard flavoured icing

 The base of these bars equals the cookie part, it’s a cookie dough baked into a flat 9”x9” pan. I spread jam over the base before I popped it into the oven. Then I made a thick custard flavoured icing – like I use in Nanaimo bars which I spread over the topped of the base when it had cooled.

cookie bars topped with rhubarb jam and a custard flavoured icing

The result was a tasty bar, crunchy on the bottom, tangy fruit in the middle and creamy sweetness on top. Here’s how I made them:

Yield: 25 squares approx.

Base Ingredients:
170 grams unsalted butter, softened
75 grams granulated sugar
175 grams plain flour
25 grams porridge oats
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
200 grams of rhubarb jam

Topping:
80 grams unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons custard powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
375 grams icing sugar
3 tablespoons milk (I used almond milk)

Method:
Grease and line a 9”x9” pan with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180C.

In a bowl mix the butter and sugar for the base until light and creamy. Sift in the flour and mix through. Add the oats and mix these through also. Add some water if the mixture is quite dry, up to 1 tablespoon. Transfer to the pan and press evenly with your fingers so the cookie dough covers the base evenly. Spoon over the rhubarb and spread it evenly over the dough. 

Place into the oven for 15 minutes. The jam will bubble and the base will brown.
Remove from the oven and allow the base to cool completely.

Make the custard topping by mixing the butter with the custard powder, vanilla, icing sugar and milk, until smooth and spreadable.

Spread the topping evenly over the cooled base and place into the fridge to allow the topping to firm up, a couple of hours.
cookie bars topped with rhubarb jam and a custard flavoured icing

When firm, remove from the pan and cut into squares. Enjoy your rhubarb and custard cookie bars with a nice cuppa!

I am entering these into this month's Alphabakes, hosted alternately by Caroline at Caroline Makes and this month Ros at The More Than Occasional Baker. The letter is R and rhubarb begins with R!


33 comments:

  1. These don't half sound lovely! I've never actually tried rhubarb having heard that it isn't nice but after seeing these I'm positively certain I've heard wrong!

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    1. Oh, you will like rhubarb Laura, I promise!

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  2. These look fantastic - I tend to end up with industrial quantities of rhubarb from friends and family and there is usually jam on the go, so this sounds like a fantastic way to use some up

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  3. These look utterly YUM! I love rhubarb. And ginger. And custard. Mmmmmmmmmm.....

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  4. Ah Stuart these look fantastic and I really love the combination of flavours. I remember those sweets!!

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    1. Can I find those sweets now Nazima? No chance, these had to suffice instead!

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  5. Gosh - custard in a bar. Really fancy one of these with a cup of tea.

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  6. These sound so good, rhubarb and ginger crumble with custard is one of my favourite puddings so I don't think these would last long if I made them!

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    1. Dangerous things Jen, but oh so good!

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  7. Love these cookie bars look awesome!

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  8. OK, but the real question on everyone's lips is: how much of that topping did you scretly eat straight from the bowl? I would probably guzzle the lot!

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    1. Haha, how did you know?I have some left in the fridge right now!

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  9. Looks so delicious :) I'm glad I found your blog.

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    1. Thanks Kimberley, hope you come back for more recipes!

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  10. These look gorgeous! Love rhubarb, love custard and love the sound of the base, yum!

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    1. All levels worked very well together. Thanks for your kind words

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  11. Amazing! Thinking my usual evening bourbon won't quite cut it now...

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  12. Yes please, I love rhubarb and would love a slice right now :-) x

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    1. You'll have to make some now Charlene!

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  13. A cake that reminds me of sweets - you can't get better than that. We don't celebrate rhubarb enough - it's a wonderful thing.

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  14. When I first saw your post, I immediately thought about rhubarb and custard sweets. Such a classic pairing and I love your take on it.The custard topping sounds especially inviting.Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.

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  15. Yum, can't wait to try those out...

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  16. Hi, these look amazing! I was just wondering how long the topping would stay firm for? Would they freeze ok? As i am doing a charity craft fair at the end of the week and I'd want to batch bake them and wouldn't want them to collapse in on each other when I box them up. Any suggestions? Thanks

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    1. Hi Chris, the topping is essentially a buttercream so needs to be kept refrigerated- freezing would probably change the consistency when they are defrosted so I wouldn't recommend that I'm afraid. You should be able to stack them up with greaseproof paper in between if kept cool enough. Good luck with the craft fair.

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