blackberry & peach shortbread bars

Blackberry and peaches have a short life span. They appear in local markets and entangled in bushes wanting to be seen, heard and tasted and then just before you’ve had your fill, they seem to vanish. I have a tendency to hoard and my freezer space suffers because of it. But this year, I didn’t stash away buckets full of berries. Instead, I found joy in their freshness and honoured their fleeting nature. I ate them out of hand and I also made these tasty squares.

But first, I wanted to talk about summer. It is also fleeting. Summer didn’t really seem to start here until August and it doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon either. This summer I attended a horse race where I came out pretty much on par. You win some, you lose some and then you drink a cold one. I played croquet in suburban backyards and went on bike rides around the city. I discovered a beautiful new park close to my neighbourhood and I appeared on the radio. I even went to an afternoon baseball game!

I rode a wooden roller coaster, ate a corn dog and realized that I’m getting too old for those spinny rides at the fair. With friends in tow, I spent a few afternoons and evenings in a tiny island in the middle of the city, usually with a picnic and a beer in hand. We drove out to the semi-desert of this beautiful province and saw hoodoos and peered down at tiny prickly pear cactuses that grew underfoot. We camped by rivers and had campfires and ate ‘smores.

Summer, I’m glad we became fast friends. Luckily, blackberries and peaches make wonderful playmates. Sweet and tart and much less fussy than a pie, these bars make a lovely wrap up to the fading summer sun.

24 comments to “blackberry & peach shortbread bars”

  1. 1
    Ashlae   September 12, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I hoarded berries last year and am just now getting through them. Sadly, I think I’m too late to get any good deals this year – but I still visit various markets around town in hopes I’ll stumble across something I can’t pass up. There’s something so lovely about a blackberry pie in the middle of winter.

    I love the blackberry + peach combination. And as soon as I get over being down in the dumps about being gluten-intolerant, I’m going to attempt to make these vegan and gluten-free.

  2. 2
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm   September 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Hm, conflicted. I LOVE blackberries but dislike peaches. But you make these sound so yummy and summery, I just might have to give them a go!

  3. 3
    renee@sweetsugarbean   September 12, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Sounds like you’ve had a fabulous summer! I too am devouring peaches like nobody’s business, because there really is nothing like them. If only blackberries grew wild and crazy here too, but I’ll just get my hands on some organic ones to make these bars…they look too good to pass up!

  4. 4
    ursula   September 13, 2011 at 12:44 am

    These look so good! I can’t wait for berries.

  5. 5
    Joanne   September 13, 2011 at 3:28 am

    I haven’t been able to hoard peaches or berries this year because of freezer space, but I’ve been eating my fair share! These bars look delicious..the perfect combination of summer’s best!

  6. 6
    Lynnette   September 13, 2011 at 7:49 am

    These are so beautiful, can’t wait to make them! Anything that has the name shortbread has to be wonderful! Thanks for blogging this. Great story.

  7. 7
    Kathryn | Dramatic Pancake   September 13, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Gorgeous post, and such great descriptions of your summer adventures. I love the vibrancy of these bars — they make me feel like I can hold on to summer just a bit longer!

  8. 8
    Lysa   September 13, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Hmm, our blackberries are not quite ready yet(getting close though)and our peach tree which is usually loaded with fruit isn’t any where near ready. I think it’s off because of July’s crazy weather but when they are I know what recipe I’ll be using! Thanks-yum!

  9. 9
    Amy   September 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I love summer so it’s disappointing that it has only lasted about 6 weeks (so far). I’m like you I love to make the most of summer here in our lovely BC. Thanks for sharing!

  10. 10
    NicoleD   September 13, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I agree that peaches and blackberries are wonderful playmates and these bars look delicious. Your summer sounds fun and packed with really good stuff!

  11. 11
    Jackie   September 13, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    These look so lovely! I’ve been on a summer pie-making kick this season with blueberries and nectarines, so these shortbread bars will be a beautiful and welcome change from pie time. Can’t wait to try them out this week when friends come over for dinner. And congratulations on your radio gig, Jeannette!

  12. 12
    Rivki Locker   September 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    You are so right -summer goes by so fast, but it is so precious. Glad you were able to enjoy it. This shortbread looks wonderful.

  13. 13
    kickpleat   September 13, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Ashlae, I just finished last summer’s berries too! This summer, I decided no hoarding (though I am guilty with the sour cherries I got this summer). I too love a blackberry pie (or crumble!) in the winter so maybe I have to rethink things!

    Jessica, you could leave out the peaches! Or add in nectarines or something else like plums. Or go full-on blackberry.

    Yes, Renee, these are delicious and I’m so happy that blackberries grow wild around here!

    Thanks Ursula, hopefully you’ll get your hands on some soon!

    Me too, Joanne! My freezer space is currently filled with veg stock & sour cherries!!

    Thanks Lynette, these are tasty and I can’t not fall for shortbread 🙂

    Kathryn, summer can last as long as you want – freeze up some berries and try this in winter!

    Lysa, so strange about yours not ready yet. I’ve been snacking on some around here like crazy! I guess it depends how much sun your patch has been getting! Good luck.

    Amy, I feel the same way. But I really tried to pack as much of summer in as I could.

    Thanks NicoleD! Your summer too seemed full of adventure and travel! Hooray for great summers.

    Jackie, I love that you were on a pie kick! I’d love to be on one too 🙂 I realize I didn’t make a single pie this summer. I think I can hear my husband crying over that fact! Thanks!

    Thank you Rivki!

  14. 14
    Julie   September 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I so miss picking blackberries out in Vancouver. Sniff. Almost worth a pilgrimage for! The street value of blackberries out here.. oy.
    Way to go on CBC! I’m listening to it now! radio is so much fun, isn’t it?

  15. 15
    kickpleat   September 14, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Julie, it’s such a Vancouver thing, isn’t it? I think you should hop on a plane before they all disappear 🙂

  16. 16
    Bijoux   September 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I’ve been researching places in Ontario that I can pick my own blackberries and I’m coming up with nothing…boo! I’m also enjoying the bounty of sweet juicy peaches at the farmer’s market. I eat them too quickly to make them into a dessert but I should try to keep some for these amazing looking shortbread bars…I love buttery shortbread!

  17. 17
    kickpleat   September 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Bijoux, try this out with just peaches if you are having no luck with finding blackberries.

  18. 18
    Ashley   September 29, 2011 at 10:32 am

    What a great recipe to honour delicious summer fruit. 🙂

  19. 19
    kickpleat   September 30, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Thanks Ashley!

  20. 20
    Cookie and Kate   October 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Blackberries with peaches are my favorite! You’re making me miss summer already. 🙂

  21. 21
    kickpleat   October 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Cookie and Kate, sigh, me too. I wish I would have planned ahead & frozen all my blackberries this summer!

  22. 22
    Kim K.   February 8, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    Winner! Winner! I still had frozen boysenberries from last summer’s garden and a jar of homemade peach-apricot jam from the year before. I spread the crust with jam, topped it with the berries (lightly tossed in sugar first), and baked as directed. The buttery, tender crust, crunchy topping, and fruity middle was perfection. One of my grandsons, who isn’t fond of sweets overall, LOVED these. You don’t know how happy it makes me because he’s so hard to bake for. Thank you for a new favorite way to use up my summer fruits!

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