Blackberry Bars

My mom has a recipe for date bars.  They are amazing.  Have you had them?  Oh, so you already know they're amazing.  Here's a picture of them from Kat's shower.
So for my birthday, my friend Ben got me food things.  Two curries he's wanted to try, and some cookies and bars from Whole Foods.  Oh my goodness, does he know me, or what?  So I tried one of the curries- adding chicken, zucchini, green pepper, and tomatoes- it made dinner and a good 6 tupperwares of food to bring in for lunch at work (I froze 3, to have for later when I'm lazy).  And it tasted fantastic, each time I heat one up, people ask whose lunch smells so good.  Sorry to torture you, but it's mine :-)
The cookies he got were sugar cookies with icing in the middle (some of the best I've ever had) and this bar/cobbler thing.  It reminded me of the date bars my mom makes, but maybe using blueberries instead of dates.  I don't particularly love baked goods with blueberries, but come on, who am I to question baked goods as presents.  I took one bite.  It was blackberry.  Not blueberry.  I was in heaven.  I immediately tried to figure out how to get more.  I checked their website, I started to schedule a trip to Whole Foods just to buy a dozen of these (the closest one to me is about 25 minutes away).  Then I got my head on straight, and I realized, come on, you know how to cook, make it!
So for once, I didn't google a million blackberry bar recipes, I just went and got my date bar recipe, and used blackberries instead.  I knew it was a good recipe already, it seemed logical.
So despite being fresh fruit instead of dry dates, I did everything the same- added the water, sugar, and vanilla extract to 2 pints of blackberries (12 oz each), let that bubble and reduce and make my place smell amazing, then spread it on top of the crust, and crumbled the rest of the topping on top.  I don't have a fine mesh strainer, but I might need to invest in one, because the only thing that would make these better would be straining the blackberries.  The occasional seed is not the end of the world though, by any means.
And look at that, no trek to Whole Foods needed!  I still want to go there soon though...
Those pictures weren't self explanatory?  Ok, here's the recipe then :-)

Blackberry Bars
2 cartons blackberries- 12 oz each
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cook until smooth, then cool.  If you have a strainer, use it now.  If not, they still taste fantastic!

Crust/ Topping:
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cup fine oatmeal
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Mix dry ingredients with butter until fine.
Save 1 1/2 cup for use as topping.
Press remainder into 8"x12" pan
Cover with filling, then top with saved 1 1/2 cup mixture.
Bake at 365 degrees for 20 minutes.
Cut into squares while warm.

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