A Sarcastic Appetite

Raspberry Streusel Bars
December 14, 2010, 10:06 pm
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I spent Sunday morning flipping through cookbooks again, hellbent on finding a recipe for which I already had everything I needed. I wanted something mildly breakfast-y – or at least something I could vaguely justify eating all day long. This is really none of those things; I had to run out to get the butter, sugar, and the jam – and because it contains so much butter, sugar, and jam. (Not that it has stopped me from stealing bites every chance I get.) It reminds me of those Pepperidge Farm cookies – remember those? The sandwich cookies with jam in the middle and powdered sugar on top?  They were always far too dry and crunchy for my liking, not that it ever stopped me from downing 4 at a time. These are softer and slightly chewier. I am a fan.

Actually, the Ninja and I are both avid fans, as evidenced by the photo above. I have only myself to blame for the bizarre swath of sugary destruction I cut out of the pan. (The middle is always the best part!)

If I made these again, I’d slather even more raspberry jam on top – and I went overboard as it was. I’d also swap out the sugar in the streusel topping for brown sugar, since brown sugar makes everything better.

Raspberry Streusel Bars

From Joy of Cooking. Makes 20 bars…so they say.

For the shortbread:

2 c. all purpose flour

1/4 c. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces

3 tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375º and butter a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Pulse the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix the milk and vanilla in a small dish and add to the flour mixture, bit by bit, until the dough starts to hold together. Press the dough into the baking pan, evenly. Bake about 12 minutes, until just firm in the center. Put on a cooling rack but leave the oven on.

For the topping:

1 1/2 c. seedless raspberry jam

1 3/4 c. flour

2/3 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats

1 large egg

2 tbsp. milk

Once you take the shortbread out of the oven, slather the jam over the still-hot crust. Meanwhile, pulse the flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter in a food processor until it’s blended. Turn out into a small bowl and add the oats. Mix the milk and egg together and beat lightly. Add that to the flour mixture and blend until the streusel is moistened and forms small crumbs. Scatter these crumbs across the raspberry jam, spreading evenly. Bake another 25ish minutes, until the raspberry jam is bubbling and the streusel is lightly browned. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.