Raspberry Almond BarsUser Submitted Recipe
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp regular salt
1/3 cup ground blanched almonds
18 tablespoons (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter (cut in small pieces (approximately ½ inch cubes)
1 tablespoon cold shortening
3 tsps almond extract
½ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup old fashioned rolled outs
½ cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup good raspberry preserves (preferably seedless)
7 oz fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1 tsp cinnamon
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place rack in the middle of the oven. Cover 13 by 9-inch baking dish both lengthwise and widthwise with non-stick foil (so you can easily pull the bars out of the pan when they are cooked).
2) Add flour, granulated sugar, salt, and ground blanched almonds to the bowl of a standing mixer. Using flat paddle mixer on slow speed, mix flour mixture for about 5-10 seconds until combined.
3) Keep machine on low speed and add the shortening, almond extract, and 2 sticks of butter (16 tablespoons) 1 or 2 pieces at a time until all of the butter is broken up and the mixture resembles sand.
4) Set aside approximately 1 ¼ cup of this mixture (loosely packed) in a separate bowl.
5) Take remaining flour mixture and pat evenly into backing dish. Firmly press the mixture evenly into the pan, making sure it reaches all the edges. Bake for approximately 14 minutes. You want the far edges of the crust to just barely begin to brown.
6) Take crust out of the oven and sprinkle the half cup of sliced almonds over the crust so you have a thin layer scattered over the entire crust (it won’t be completely covered – you will still see a lot of the crust).
7) Put the crust with the almonds back into the oven for about 4 minutes but watch carefully. The almonds should lightly toast but not brown.
8) Combine raspberries, lemon juice, and raspberry preserves in a small bowl. Mash mixture with a fork until well combined and the raspberries are broken up. You do want a few small pieces of raspberry to remain.
9) In the bowl where you had set aside the 1 ¼ of the flour mixture, add the oats, brown sugar, 2 remaining tablespoons of butter, 1 tsp cinnamon, and the pecans. Combine lightly with a fork and then use your hands to thoroughly combine the mixture (no large clumps of butter should remain).
10) Spread the raspberry mixture over the hot crust. Make sure you reach all of the edges and that the mixture is spread as evenly as possible.
11) Sprinkle the oats mixture over the top of the filling as evenly as possible but do not press down. This will practically cover all of the raspberry mixture.
12) Return pan to oven and back for approximately 25-28 minutes. The topping should be golden brown and the filling bubbling.
13) Cool on a wire rack for approximately 2 hours. Before cutting the bars, use the foil to lift the bars onto a cutting board and then cut the bars to what ever portion you desire and serve.
14) These can be kept for 3-4 days in an airtight container in or outside of the fridge but they are best served the same day.