Blueberry Bars for Back to School!

Blueberry Bars | ZoeBakes photo by Zoe Francois

This post is originally from 2011 and it is hilarious for me to read it, since my boys are now 17 and 19 years old and no longer have little fingers, because they’re 6 feet tall. The only thing that remains the same 7 years later; they still love these Blueberry Bars!

2011: Yesterday was the official end of summer in my house. Back to school for both boys, and I spent the day wishing they were home again. “Seriously?” You may ask. I spent the past several weeks anticipating the beginning of school with a certain glee, which may have bordered on unhealthy. I couldn’t wait to have peace and quiet in my house, for hours at a time. I looked forward to doing my work without interruption, sans little fingers dipping into the bowl. But, when it came to the actual day, I missed them and couldn’t wait for them to get off the bus.* Instead of pathetically staring out the window waiting, I decided to bake them some Blueberry Bars. Every MN kid loves bars.

For those of you from the coasts, I am referring to a layered dessert baked in a pan resembling a brownie/cookie/pie, but can be made with fruit, caramel, chocolate or anything else your pantry contains. Then they are cut into neat bars. I was first introduced to this concept when I moved to Minneapolis in 1993. Bars are generally served on a buffet table with lots of crock pots filled with “hot dish.” Every family has their own recipe, usually a tightly held secret, mostly kept from the neighbors.

To watch me make these bars and for tips on easy lattice and stable fillings, watch my instagram video. Recipe below.

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New Book, My name on the Gold Medal Flour Bag (crazy) and the Ball Canning Contest Winner.

Gold Medal Flour zb 02

For the last week I have been fantasizing about this very moment. How great it would be to finally get the boys back on the bus and off to school. The luxury of an uninterrupted work day, my own music on the radio, no cleaning up after a gaggle of teens… But, the truth is, I miss them. The house is way too still, so quiet I can hear the clock ticking. We all know, by noon I will have found my rhythm and appreciate the silence. Their reentry will seem downright cacophonous.

Photo shoot zb

On Friday I had a photo shoot in my kitchen. It was all very exciting and fun. The photographer was here for 10 hours, shooting every inch of the space, including the inside of my not-so-organized drawers. My extremely talented and stylish friend, Stephanie Meyer, was here to help me make sense of the table settings.  These shoots really do take a village to create. The article will come out this holiday season in a magazine that I love, but am not allowed to mention, YET. To get ready for the shoot I baked a bunch of cakes, bread and cookies.

photo shoot cakes zb

In the process I ran out of flour, which is saying something in this house, and went to the store to replenish. I stocked up on Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, which, in and of itself, is unremarkable, because I always do this, but when I got home and emptied the bag into my flour bin, I finally noticed the bag…it had my name on it!

The NEW ABin5 Recipe on the Gold Medal Flour Bag | ZoeBakes

My jaw hit the counter, then I composed myself and screamed. There it was in full color, the ABin5 logo and recipe right on the bag. We’d been working with the folks at General Mills to share our recipe with their customers on the bag, but I was under the impression it wasn’t going to hit the stores until this fall. Completely surreal. Oh, yeah, I have a new book coming out this fall…

The NEW Artisan Bread in Five

Here is a sneak peek at the new cover with a gorgeous loaf shot by Stephen Scott Gross. With lots of help from our readers, we are putting out the seventh anniversary edition of ABin5. There are lots more pictures, recipes and techniques. We’ve added weights to all the recipes, for those who prefer to bake with a scale and have an index that is worthy of framing. For more details and all the information about pre-orders (since it doesn’t come out until Oct.) please visit

The lucky winner of the Ball Canning jam making kit contest is Anne Lynch – Happy jamming!