My recipe this week is from Cooks Illustrated Magazine from back in 2005 and it has been a favorite ever since. If you enjoy cooking and trying new recipes, the library has a current subscription to Cooks Illustrated as well as Taste of Home Magazine. These magazines, all but the current issue, may be checked out and taken home. Maybe you will find a new favorite recipe in one of them. These bars received rave reviews from the library staff!
Makes about 24 – 2-inch bars
- 2 ½ cups (12 ½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup (4 ¾ ounces) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and softened to cool room temperature
- ½ cup (1 ½ ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup (2 ounces) pecans, chopped fine
- ¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces) packed light brown sugar
- ¾ cup (8 ½ ounces) raspberry preserves (I prefer Smucker’s)
- ¾ cup (3 ½ ounces) fresh raspberries
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
BEFORE YOU BEGIN:
This recipe can be made in a standing mixer or a food processor. Frozen raspberries can be substituted for fresh; be sure to defrost them before combining with the raspberry preserves. If your fresh raspberries are very tart, add only 1 or 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to the filling. The bars are best eaten the day they are baked but can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days (the crust and streusel will soften slightly with storage).
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Make foil sling for 13 by 9-inch baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil; first sheet should be 13 inches wide and second sheet should be 9 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Grease foil.
- Whisk flour, granulated sugar, and salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Fit mixer with paddle and beat in 16 tablespoons butter, 1 piece at a time, on medium-low speed until mixture resembles damp sand, 1 to 1½ minutes. Set aside 1¼ cups mixture in bowl for topping.
- Distribute remaining flour mixture evenly into prepared pan. Using hands or flat-bottomed measuring cup, firmly press mixture into even layer to form bottom crust. Bake until edges of crust begin to brown, 14 to 18 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. (Crust must still be hot when filling is added.)
- While crust is baking, stir oats, pecans, and brown sugar into reserved topping mixture. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and pinch mixture between your fingers into clumps of streusel.
- Using fork, mash jam, raspberries, and lemon juice in small bowl until few berry pieces remain.
- Spread berry mixture evenly over hot crust, then sprinkle with streusel (do not press streusel into filling). Bake until filling is bubbling and topping is deep golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes.
- Let bars cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours. Using foil overhang, remove bars from pan. Cut into 24 pieces before serving. (Uncut bars can be frozen for up to 1 month; let wrapped bars thaw at room temperature for 4 hours before serving.)