June 30, 2008

Cook's Illustrated: Raspberry Streusal Bars

I love picking up copies of Cook’s Illustrated on occasion, and it’s even better when they print one of their special edition magazines. I recently found their Summer Grilling and Entertaining magazine when I was out browsing at the bookstore. What I love about reading their magazines is the detail that they share about testing new recipes - what went wrong, and how they corrected it. It’s not flashy and there’s no advertising, so it’s simply about getting to the absolute best way to prepare the recipe.

We had a get-together to go to this weekend and I wanted to bring along something that would be sweet, but not so sweet it would be overpowering. I read the recipe for the Raspberry Streusel Bars and thought that it would be a nice bar recipe to try.  I also opted to use Trader Joe’s Organic Raspberry Jam since that was what I had on hand. Now, if you want to try this using the brand that was CI’s favorite, pick up a jar of Smucker’s Red Raspberry Preserves. They liked this one due to its flavor and just the right number of seeds in it.
raspberry bars-3

These bars were definitely simple to make and a nice contrast to the other desserts that we had to choose from that afternoon. They were sweet, but not to the point you need a glass of water to wash them down; although a glass of milk would complement them very nicely. A couple of friends thought they were similar to fruit cereal or granola bars. Overall, they were enjoyed by everyone who tried them and only a few were left to have as snacks the next day.





Raspberry Streusal Bars

Recipe by Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, Summer Grilling & Entertaining - Summer 2008

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened
  • 1/4 cup  dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raspberry preserves
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Cooking Directions
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Line 9x13 baking dish with aluminum foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  3. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with flat beater, mix flour, sugar, and salt at low speed until combined. With machine on low, add the butter 1 piece at a time; then continue mixing on low until mixture resembles damp sand, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.

  4. Measure 1 1/4 cups flour mixture into medium bowl and set aside; sprinkle remaining flour mixture evenly in bottom of prepared baking dish. Press mixture into an even layer to form bottom crust. Bake until edges begin to brown, 14-18 minutes.

  5. While crust is baking, add brown sugar and oats to the reserved flour mixture; toss to combine. Work in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter by rubbing mixture between fingers until butter is fully incorporated throughout the flour mixture. Pinch mixture with fingers to create small lumps; set streusel aside.

  6. Combine preserves, raspberries and lemon juice in a small bowl; mash with fork until combined, leaving some berry pieces.

  7. Spread filling evenly over hot crust; sprinkle streusel topping evenly over filling. Return pan to oven and bake until topping is deep golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 22-25 minutes. Cool to room temperature on wire rack, 1-2 hours. Once cool, chill in the refrigerator and then remove from baking pan by lifting out of the pan using the aluminum foil. Using a chef's knife, cut into squares and serve.
With the raspberries in this recipe, I'm submitting this to Sweetnick's ARF 5 a Day Round-up for this week. Be sure to check out the round-up on Tuesday evening as there are sure to be some healthy and delicious recipes made by some fantastic food bloggers!

8 comments:

Beth said...

These look great. Raspberries are just coming into season here in the UK so will definately be giving these a try!

Kevin said...

Those raspberry bars look really good!

noble pig said...

I love Cook's Illustrated too! I love their long drawn out explanations as I am long winded myself.

These look beautiful.

Patsyk said...

Beth - do give this a try with fresh berries, the CI article said the best flavor is when you use fresh... I just couldn't find pretty one's to buy.

Kevin - Thanks!

Noble Pig - I appreciate those long explanations from CI. I'm always trying to learn more about what to do to improve a recipe.

Megan said...

Raspberrys and streusal, whats not to love. I'll have to tru these!

That Girl said...

Bars are such an easy dessert to make, but they always look so impressive!

Kristen said...

I have a bucket full of raspberries calling out to me. I think this may be just the recipe for them! Looks fantastic!

Patsyk said...

Kristen - you are so lucky to have a whole bucket of raspberries! Let me know if you give it a try.

Printer Friendly