To celebrate our last day of classes this year, my grad school cohort had a potluck feast today. Obviously, I had to bake something fabulous for everyone to ooh and ahh over.
I chose Raspberry Streusel Bars from the Joy of Cooking, because a) yum, and b) I had all the ingredients on hand already. I promise you that there will eventually be something other than raspberry and/or streusel baked goods here, but when I said I was a berry fiend, I meant it!
These bars are delicious. Much better than the raspberry streusel muffins I made last week. I bet they'd be amazing with any other kind of jam (I'm thinking blueberry), but I used the seedless raspberry that the recipe called for. I also used walnuts instead of almonds in the topping. Next time (and trust me, there WILL be a next time), I'll skip the almond extract in the crust and use vanilla instead. I don't mind a very subtle almond flavor, but it came across pretty strongly.
Note: The recipe format in the Joy of Cooking drives me batty. The ingredients are embedded in the text instead of a list at the beginning of the recipe. It's an accident waiting to happen for me (I'm sure I forgot to add something or other). I've adapted it below to be more Amy-friendly, and I hope you find it friendly too.
Raspberry Streusel Bars
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking
2 c. plus 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 c. plus 2/3 c. sugar, divided
1/4 tsp. salt plus another 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) plus 8 tbsp. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, divided, all cut into small pieces
3 tbsp. plus 2 tbsp. milk, divided
1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
1 c. seedless raspberry preserves or jam
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 c. sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, or a combination of both
2/3 c. rolled oats
1 large egg
1. Generously grease a 13x9-inch baking pan.
2. In a food processor, blend 2 c. flour, 1/4 c. sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 12 tbsp. butter pieces in on/off pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; be careful not to overprocess. In a small bowl, combine 3 tbsp. milk with the almond or vanilla extract. A bit at a time, add the milk mixture to the food processor, and process in on/off pulses until the particles begin to hold together. If necessary, add just enough additional milk so the mixture holds together but is not wet.
3. Firmly press the dough into the greased pan to form a smooth, even layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and another in the upper third. Preheat to 375. Bake the chilled dough in the center of the oven until barely firm in the center, 12-15 minutes. Spread jam evenly over the hot crust.
4. To prepare the streusel, blend remaining flour, sugar, salt, and the cinnamon in a food processor. Sprinkle remaining butter pieces over the top. Process until the mixture is well-blended. Turn out into a medium bowl.
5. Using a fork, stir almonds or walnuts into the mixture. Once combined, stir in rolled oats. In a small bowl, beat lightly together the egg and remaining milk. Stir into the flour mixture until streusel is moistened and forms small clumps. If necessary, add a tsp. or 2 more milk, until the mixture is just moist enough to clump. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the raspberry preserves, breaking up any large clumps.
6. Bake in the upper third of the oven until the streusel is nicely browned and the raspberry jam is bubbly, 25-30 minutes. Remove the pan to a rack and cool completely. Cut into bars.