You might wonder why there isn’t a beautiful photograph of a whole pan of these delicious raspberry bars accompanying this recipe. Here’s the thing: We ate them. All of them. Well, except for the one that I managed to hide so that I could take a picture of it.
This recipe for raspberry almond bars falls somewhere in the middle on the continuum between cookie and brownie. The base resembles chocolate-chip cookie dough, though made with all brown sugar. Not too sweet, with the perfect tart-tang of fresh raspberry, these bars make a wonderful dessert after a light meal. Or, you know, a before-bed snack. Or maybe a mid afternoon nibble. No wonder they all but disappeared.
(recipe adapted, only slightly, from MarthaStewart.com)
(makes about 12)
9 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 pint raspberries (see Note)
powdered sugar, for finishing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray with cooking spray an 8-inch square baking pan, line it with a piece of foil or parchment and grease the foil/parchment.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth; add brown sugar and mix on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, stirring gently to combine. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir to combine well. Mix in 3/4 cup almonds (reserve the rest for topping). Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter berries and almonds over the top. Bake for 50–65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool, then use foil/parchment to lift the bars out of the pan. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar.
Note: I used frozen farmers’ market raspberries that I’d put up last summer and found that I needed to extend the baking time by about 8 minutes. In fact, I’ve begun the process of using up all the fresh-frozen produce I stored nearly a year ago: summer corn, tomatoes, berries and homemade strawberry jam—all in an attempt to clear pantry/freezer space so I can do it all again this growing season!
Blackberries or black raspberries would also be good here, and I imagine that blueberries would work, as well.