These rhubarb dream bars are equally sour and sweet and are delicious served cold or hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

These rhubarb dream bars are equally sour and sweet and are delicious served cold or hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

Sweet treats propel afternoon skiing

A sweet treat makes ski practice days that much more special for him

Twice a week we rush home from work and school, eat a fast snack, then turn right back around to go to ski practice. Those days take a lot of planning and preparation on my part, and the first couple lesson days were hectic, but I’ve learned how to set myself up for success.

I wake up earlier than normal to prepare our dinner in the crockpot, load the car with skis and gear, and tidy the house in anticipation of a whirlwind evening. It’s exhausting, but at the end of the night, after he’s enjoyed an exciting day and he’s finally asleep in a clean house with a belly full of healthy food, my pride at our accomplishment is a wonderful reward. I certainly wasn’t always so responsible or motivated, but I’m crushing my mom job right now.

On ski days I like to give him something sweet as his after-school snack — he could use a little sugar to carry him through his longer day, and he’s going to burn it off anyway. A sweet treat makes ski practice days that much more special for him, and I try to make new and interesting desserts for him to enjoy.

I’ve served him chocolate chip cookies and chocolate candies and ice cream, but this week I thought I would use up some of the rhubarb that’s been in my freezer for months to give him a tart taste of summertime before heading out into the dark, cold evening air.

These rhubarb dream bars are equally sour and sweet and are delicious served cold or hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Rhubarb Dream Bars

Ingredients:

For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup powdered sugar

For the filling:

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 cups rhubarb, chopped fresh or frozen

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Start by making the crust. Sift together the flour and powdered sugar, then cut in the softened butter with a clean hand. The mixture will be dry and crumbly but should clump together when you squeeze a handful.

Press the crust down into the bottom of your greased baking dish with your hands, then use a spatula to press the crust down as flat as possible.

Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven.

While the crust is baking, make the filling.

Combine the brown sugar, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt, then whisk in your eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.

Fold in the rhubarb. It can either be fresh or frozen, but if you’re using frozen rhubarb, don’t allow it to thaw before adding or the rhubarb will be too mushy after cooking.

Pour the rhubarb mixture onto the still hot crust, smooth it out into an even layer, then bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. When it’s done, it should be slightly browned on the edges and sticky but not wobbly in the center.

Allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting, but it’s best to let it chill completely before cutting if you want clean slices.

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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