No. 266: Raspberry Breakfast Bars

What a fantastic weekend.

Our buddy Pete was in town for the Cal-Colorado football game. While it wasn't a great game (both teams aren't terrific), it was very entertaining with two overtimes.

Whew. My heart can't take those kinds of victories.

Our good friends, the Temple family, are longtime Cal fans and impressive tailgaters. For one thing, there's never a shortage of Prosecco and the brauts are cooked perfectly.

Since I have been showing up routinely for the past two years, I figured it was time to bring a contribution. These tremendous bars from Smitten Kitchen seemed like a nice mid-morning treat.

Ingredients

For the crust and crumb:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the raspberry filling:
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound (16 ounces) raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

To make

Make the crust and crumb: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Butter the parchment.

Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.

Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hans or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.

Baked crust

In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the raspberries, lemon juice and butter and use your hands to toss gently until the raspberries are evenly coated.

Coated berries

Spread the raspberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.

Prepared pan

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.

Finished baking

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.

The results

Deb has done it again. These breakfast bars are perfectly balanced between the sweet crumb and tart fruit that still manages to shine through. And don't be fooled, they are much more like a morning dessert than breakfast food.

Bars

One cooking note - be sure to cook them until crisp through. I may have left them a bit underdone on top, though I still liked the soft oatmeal-like consistency.

While we weren't able to enjoy these at the tailgate, Andy packed up a plate for later eating at the game. He deftly snuck them in and we all dove in during the 3rd quarter. Thumbs up all around.

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