Thursday, December 22, 2011

Raspberry Crumb Bar

This is seriously the most amazing bar ever!  I have never really been a bar kind of person before.  I'm not huge on brownies because I'm not a fan of chocolate -I know I'm a terrible person for not digging chocolate!  Nothing as a  bar has ever interested me until I made this bar.  This bar was initially created when I worked for Vegan Divas as the Executive Pastry Chef.  At the time we had an office intern that was working for us for the summer, before he went back to school in Chicago.  He was amazing, super help-ful and did such a great job for us.  What a great kid - seriously.  However, one day, the owner told me that instead of me calling up our purveyors and placing the orders myself, I would verbalize everything I needed and the intern, J, would call in and make the orders.  Problem with that is that I know all of the specifications of the products and he didn't, but I followed the owner's wishes.  When I ordered what I intended to be 5 pounds of frozen raspberries, 25 pounds came in.  Yikes!  We barely had the space to put the berries, let alone something to really make with them.  So there they sat.  And sat and sat in the freezer.  The only recipe we were using them for was a Raspberry Lemon Muffin which used 3 cups to make 52 muffins.  You do the math.  How long would it take to use up the 25 pounds???

So I set off to find a recipe that would use the raspberries but that would also look nice.  And that would fit the packaging we already had, etc. etc. etc.  So I came up with this recipe.  Everyone that tried it loved it.  We unfortunately, however, never brought the recipe into rotation and never sold it.  And now the muffins are no longer being made, so those 25 pounds of frozen raspberries are still sitting there and sitting there and sitting there.  So sad.  I wish I could bring them home and make all kinds of amazing things with them.  Imagine what you would do with 25 pounds of frozen berries.  Sigh.

Raspberry Crumb Bars:

Yields 12-16 Squares/Bars

Crumb and Crust:

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup earth balance

2 1/2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup raspberry fruit spread
1/4 cup organic sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9x13” pan and set aside until ready to use.
2. Grind the almonds in a food processor until fine textured.
3. Mix together the flour, sugar and ground almonds. Add the earth balance and mix together with hands until crumbly.
4. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the mixture – this will be to top the bars.
5. Press the remaining into the prepared pan. Press firmly.
6. In a small bowl, mix together the berries, fruit spread and sugar. Spread over top of the crust and sprinkle with the remaining topping.
7. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the crumbs on top are golden brown.
8. Let cool for an hour or so before cutting.



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