These delicious little bar cookies come from Baked, a new cookbook I picked up at Barnes and Noble with a gift certificate from my dad (Thanks, Dad!). The cookbook is full of delicious-sounding recipes that I can't wait to try out! This one looked particularly delicious, and it was...nice bright flavor from the raspberries, punched up with lemon juice and lemon zest, and nice flavor from the sweet oat crust. The book calls these "breakfast bars", and while I'm not going to lie and say I wouldn't eat these for breakfast, I think they're definitely in the "dessert" category. :)
Raspberry Sandwich Bars (adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito)
Makes 1 9-inch square pan
For the crust and crumb:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 plus 1/8 cup rolled oats
3/8 tsp salt
3/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 stick (6 T) cold unsalted butter, cut into six pieces
For the raspberry filling:
1/8 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 T flour
zest and juice from 1 Meyer lemon
8 oz. frozen or fresh raspberries
1 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x9 square baking dish. Put a long piece of parchment in the bottom of the pan, extending up two sides. Butter the parchment. (Believe me, you'll want the parchment to get these out of the pan!
2. Make the crust and crumb: Put all the ingredients except the butter into a bowl and whisk together. Add the butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until there are no pieces of butter visible...when you pinch the mixture between two fingers, it should hold together.
3. Reserve 3/4 cup of the crumb mixture in a small bowl. Press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Set aside to cool, and leave the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.
4. Make the raspberry filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and lemon zest. Add the remaining filling ingredients and stir to combine.
5. Assemble the bars: Spread the raspberry filling over the cooled crust. Sprinkle evenly with the reserved crust mixture, and press down gently to form the top crust. Bake 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Let cool, the cut into squares and serve.