Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars

I love pineapple. I’ve made cakes, breadsdips, and umpteen smoothies with it.

It was time to make bars with it.

Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars - Sweet, soft bars with big pineapple chunks that taste like a tropical vacation!

They’re soft, sweet, and the pineapple makes me feel like I’m on a tropical vacation.

The bars are made in one bowl, without a mixer, and even though they’re a layered bar, they’re not fussy.

The crust and crumble topping are made from the same mixture to save time. It’s not always possible to make both the crust and topping from the same mixture, but if it is, I use the double-duty approach.

Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars - Sweet, soft bars with big pineapple chunks that taste like a tropical vacation!

They’re similar to lemon bars because of the tender shortbread crust and the signature citrus filling, but these have the crumble topping and an abundance of pineapple chunks.

I love being able to sink my teeth into the pineapple pieces and I relish the texture. I used canned pineapple and I’m sure you could use fresh or frozen, although I haven’t tried.

Surrounding the pineapple chunks is a custardy, creamy filling that’s made using an egg, sugar, flour, and McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract. In 2014, McCormick marks its 125th anniversary by celebrating the role flavor plays in all of our lives, inspiring flavorful conversation, and giving back to communities around the world. McCormick’s Flavor of Together program is a yearlong initiative to share 1.25 million stories about how flavor both unites and defines people across the globe.

Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars - Sweet, soft bars with big pineapple chunks that taste like a tropical vacation!

I grew up watching my mom and grandma bake with McCormick’s Vanilla. Cookie dough and beater licking just wasn’t the same without it. Nor were my mom’s cakes or my grandma’s signature cinnamon rolls and the powdered sugar frosting with plenty of vanilla that topped them.

I’ve always adored vanilla and use it liberally. And then some. Many of my recipes call for 1 tablespoon of vanilla and I’m frequently asked if I meant a teaspoon. No, I meant a tablespoon.

Pineapple and vanilla are just made for each other and it helps accentuate the tropical vibe.

Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars - Sweet, soft bars with big pineapple chunks that taste like a tropical vacation!

The bars are tender, delicate, and the firmer crust, in contrast with the soft, custardy interior, and the crumble topping make for so many great textures in each bite.

If you keep them covered and as time passes, the topping becomes softer, less pebbley, and looks less like a true crumble topping due to the overall moisture level in the bars from the juicy pineapple. Juicy beats dry any day.

Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars - Sweet, soft bars with big pineapple chunks that taste like a tropical vacation!

The bars are a perfect springtime or summery dessert and would be a great Mother’s Day treat. What I wouldn’t give to have these show up on a breakfast-in-bed tray with a pot of coffee along with a mimosa or two.

I can dream, right.

Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars - Sweet, soft bars with big pineapple chunks that taste like a tropical vacation!

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Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars

The bars are soft, sweet, and the pineapple makes me feel like I’m on a tropical vacation. They're made in one bowl, without a mixer, and even though they’re a layered bar, they’re not fussy because the crust and topping are made from the same mixture to save time. There's an abundance of pineapple chunks in every bite, which are surrounded by a custardy, creamy filling. The bars are tender, delicate, and the firmer crust, in contrast with the soft, custardy interior, and the crumble topping make for so many great textures in each bite. If you keep them covered and as time passes, the topping becomes softer, less pebbley, and looks less like a true crumble topping due to the overall moisture level in the bars from the juicy pineapple. The bars are a perfect springtime or summery dessert and would be a great Easter or Mother's Day treat.

Yield: one 8x8 pan, 9 to 12 squares

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes + 35 minutes

Total Time: about 2 hours, for cooling

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup sour cream (plain or vanilla Greek yogurt may be substituted)
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
one 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained (fresh or frozen could likely be substituted)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8x8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To a large bowl, add the butter, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and optional salt. Using two forks or a pastry cutter, cut butter into dry ingredients until a sandy mixture with peas-sized buttery bits forms.
  3. Reserve 3/4 cup of this mixture; set aside.
  4. Transfer remaining mixture into prepared pan and using your fingertips or the back of a spatula, lightly press crumbs evenly into pan to form a crust.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. While crust bakes, make the filling.
  6. In a large bowl (same one used to make the crust mixture is fine) add the egg, 1/2 cup sugar, sour cream, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup flour, and whisk until smooth; set aside.
  7. Remove crust from oven and top evenly with pineapple chunks. About 90% of the surface area will be covered with pineapple; chunks will be very close to each other but not quite touching.
  8. Carefully and evenly pour the sour cream mixture over the pineapple, making sure to get it into the corners.
  9. Evenly sprinkle the reserved crust mixture over the top to create the crumble topping.
  10. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until edges and top are set. Place pan on top of a wire rack and allow bars to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. If you keep them covered and as time passes, the topping becomes softer, less pebbley, and looks less like a true crumble topping due to the overall moisture level in the bars from the juicy pineapple.

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This post was brought to you by McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract. The recipe and opinions expressed are my own.

   

85 Responses to “Tropical Escape Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars”

  1. #
    51
    Annette — May 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Thanks for the Instagram info. I forgot to tell you I doubled the recipe and made a 13×9 pan. Only a few pieces left!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 20th, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Oh even better that it was a 9×13 double batch – that’s great to hear they were so popular! :)

      Reply

  2. #
    52
    capturing joy with kristen duke — July 14, 2014 at 8:56 am

    this sounds AMAZING!!! must make soon!

    Reply

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