I regularly give blood (even though I hate it) and I often joke that I do it for the cookies and Hostess cakes.
The News-Gazette had a blood drive today, and even though I didn't give (I won't be eligible for another week), Traci Nally, our vice president of human resources, dropped a homemade Raspberry Streusel Bar by my desk.
It was so good, and she was kind enough to send me the recipe for my blog. She got it from Cook's Illustrated, September and October 2005.
Raspberry Streusel Bars
Makes 24, 2-inch squares
Can be made in a standing mixer or a food processor.
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (two sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and softened to cool room temperature
1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine
3/4 cups raspberry preserves (Smucker’s Red Raspberry Preserves are best)
3/4 cups fresh raspberries
1 tablespoons lemon juice
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 x 9 inch baking dish, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to hang over pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In bowl of standing mixer fitted with flat beater, mix flour, granulated sugar, and salt at low speed until combined, about five seconds. With machine on low, add 16 tablespoons butter one piece at a time; then combine mixing on low until mixture resembles damp sand, one to one-and-a-half minutes. (If using a food processor, process flour, granulated sugar, and salt until combined, about five seconds. Scatter 16 T. butter pieces over flour mixture and pulse until mixture resembles damp sand, about 20 one-second pulses.
While crust is baking, add brown sugar, oats and nuts to reserved flour mixture; toss to combine. Work in remaining two tablespoons butter by rubbing mixture between fingers until butter is fully incorporated. Pinch mixture with fingers to create hazelnut-sized clumps; set streusel aside.
Combine preserves, raspberries and lemon juice in small bowl; mash with fork until combined but some berry pieces remain.
Spread filling evenly over hot crust; sprinkle streusel topping evenly over filling (do not press streusel into filling). Return pan to oven and bake until topping is bubbling, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature on wire rack, one to two hours; remove from baking pan by lifting foil extensions. Using chef’s knife, cut into squares and serve.