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Monday, August 1, 2011

Raspberry Streusel Bars



Raspberry Streusel Bars
(makes 24 2-inch bars)

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) flour
2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (2 sticks/16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened to cool room temperature
2 additional tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened to cool room temperature
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) quick oats
1/2 cup (2 ounces) pecans, chopped fine
3/4 cup (8 1/2 ounces) raspberry preserves
3/4 cup (3 1/2 ounces) fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with foil so it hangs over the edges. Spray the foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, granulated sugar and salt at low speed to combine, about 5 seconds. With the machine on low, add 1 cup butter, a few pieces at a time, then continue mixing on low until the mixture resembles damp sand, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. (You can also use a food processor for this: process the flour, granulated sugar and salt until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter the 1 cup of butter pieces over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles damp sand, about twenty 1-second pulses.)

3. Measure 1 1/4 cups of the flour mixture into a medium bowl and set aside; distribute the remaining flour mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Using your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup, firmly press the mixture into an even layer to form the bottom crust. Bake until the edges begin to brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

4. While the crust is baking, add the brown sugar, oats and pecans to the reserved flour mixture; toss to combine. Work in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter by rubbing the mixture between your fingers until the butter is fully incorporated. Pinch the mixture with fingers to create hazelnut-sized clumps; set streusel aside.

5. Combine preserves, raspberries, and lemon juice in a small bowl; mash with a fork (or your fingers) until combined, with a few berry pieces remaining.

6. Using a spatula, spread the filling evenly over the hot crust; sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the filling (do not press streusel into filling). Return the pan to the oven and bake until the topping is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, 1 to 2 hours; remove from the baking pan by lifting the overhanging foil extensions. Cut into squares and serve. The bars can also be stored for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.


NOTES

One of the easiest, quickest and best things I've ever baked. Tender, buttery shortbread. A substantial layer of tangy-sweet jam. Crunchy, nutty top. I have a bit of a soft spot for raspberry bars but have never found one that lives up to my idea of what one should be, not until I made these. Absolutely perfect.

Recommended: lots of people to share them; otherwise, you may eat, oh, a third of the pan in one night. *Ahem*

6 comments:

Pam said...

Anything with two sticks of butter and fresh raspberries HAS to be good. They look excellent Melissa!

Melissa said...

Thanks, Pam!

Elliott said...

I'm sending you my address. Care packages are nice to get.

I'm just saying.

Melissa said...

HA! :D Elliott, they are sooo easy. I want to reiterate that right here in the comments for anyone looking: EASY and crazy good. And they were STILL amazingly good after two days sitting out on a plate with foil. Jackpot recipe right here.

Jeff Overley said...

Why am I just now seeing this recipe? How did this lovely streusel escape my attention? Most importantly, how quickly can I get to the grocery store for oats and berries?

Thanks, Melissa, sounds like another good recipe.

Melissa said...

Thanks Jeff. They are seriously addictive, and seriously easy. I'm making another batch for my husband's birthday party this weekend.