Friday, May 21, 2010

Raspberry Bars

We have the greatest neighbors, who (I think) are happy that we moved into this old house and that we're making efforts to fix it up/restore it... (when we finished trimming the overgrown trees, our nextdoor neighbor brought over a nice bottle of wine to thank us.  How nice!).  Our neighbors also lend us extension ladders (this was especially helpful yesterday), they come over to check out the progress (involving unglamorous exterior projects-- no interior updates yet!), and our one neighbor even helped us pull out a very stubborn stump with his truck.  We always thank them for their support, but this weekend I think I need to step it up. I need to be a good neighbor and bake raspberry bars.  This seems like the obvious plan to me.

I found this delicious recipe on Smitten Kitchen, my new favorite recipe blog.  Have you checked it out?  This is the same gal who gave me the idea to make Dimply Plum Cake. She makes the most delicious and unique recipes.  I can't get enough.

"These aren’t, as the recipe notes warn, actually 'crumb' bars, with the streuselly topping you might see on crumbles or coffee cakes. Instead, they’re more like a raspberry sandwich cookie, yet less sweet than a typical dessert, and more earnest somehow.  I think you could easily swap the raspberries with blackberries."

For the crust and crumb:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the raspberry filling:

1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Make the crust and crumb: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.

Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.

Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. (Note: The book suggests you reserve one cup only. My gut told me that was too little, and I upped it. I wanted to make sure the top of the raspberries were mostly covered, at least for packing purposes, and was glad I had changed it.) Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hans or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.

Make the raspberry filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the raspberries, lemon juice and butter and use your hands to toss gently until the raspberries are evenly coated.

Assemble and bake the bars: Spread the raspberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling. 

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges. 

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.



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Kelle Dame said...

Oooh! Yum! These would be so great to wake up to. I will be sure to drop some hints by my husband!!

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