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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Raspberry Streusel Bars

Something to use up our raspberries which are producing more than six pounds a day.


Raspberry Streusel Bars

Source: Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Yield: 24 2-inch squares

2 1/2 c unbleached flour (I substituted whole white wheat for about a third)
2/3 c granulated sugar
1/2 teas salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 16 tablespoon pieces,  plus 2 T cut into 1/2 inch pieces and softened to cool room temperature
1/4 c packed brown sugar, light or dark
1/2 c old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c pecans, chopped finely
3/4 c raspberry preserves or jam (I used freezer jam)
3/4 c fresh raspberries (I wish I had used at least another quarter cup)
1 T lemon juice

Heat the oven to 375F. Using two long pieces of aluminum foil, line a 9X13 cake pan, extending at least two sides to act as an overhang for lifting the bars out of the pan. This is easiest to do when using two pieces of foil crossing each other in the pan and you may have to fold the foil to make it fit well. Make sure the foil covers the bottom and the sides entirely.

In a stand mixer with a paddle, mix flour, granulated sugar, and salt until well combined. With the machine on low, add the butter, one piece at a time (excluding the 2 T at room temperature). Continue mixing until the mixture looks like damp sand. You may also use a food processor: process the flour, granulated sugar, and salt until combined. Place the 16 pieces of butter in the processor bowl and pulse (approximately 20 times) until the mixture resembles damp sand. Don't wash the processor bowl.

Set aside 1 1/4 c of the flour mixture. Place the remaining flour mixture evenly in the foil-lined pan. Use your hands or the flat bottom of a measuring cup to press the mixture into an even layer. Bake it until the edges begin to brown, approximately 14-18 minutes.

For the streusel: while the crust bakes, place the brown sugar, oats, and nuts to the reserved flour mixture into the food processor bowl (or toss in the mixer bowl). Work in the remaining 2 T butter, either by pulsing the food processor or by rubbing between your fingers until the butter is fully incorporated.

For the filling: combine the preserves, berries, and lemon juice and mash with a fork or potato masher until combined but allow the mixture to remain somewhat chunky.

When the bottom crust has browned remove from the oven and spread the filling evenly over all. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the filling but do not press it down. Bake until the topping is deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 22-25 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, at least 1-2 hours. Remove from the baking pan by lifting the foil extensions. Using a chef's knife, cut into squares and serve. 

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