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Raspberry Streusel Bars with Brown Sugar, Oat and Pecan Topping

As the sun emerges and grassy knolls become more and more enticing, these Rasperry Streusel Bars make the perfect sweet treat for an afternoon picnic.  You probably already have all the ingredients you need for these easy to make bars in your pantry and freezer.  A little lemon brings out the flavors of whatever berries you have on hand (subsitute with strawberries, blueberries or blackberries) and pecans add a wonderful crunch. You’ll even love the beautifully rich color from the raspberries.  Don’t even get us started on the smell!



3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
3 sticks unsalted butter (12 ounces), room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Parchment paper
Baking spray

Streusel and Filling:

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup pecan pieces, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
1 1/4 cups raspberry preserves
1 pint fresh raspberries or 1 1/2 cups strained frozen fruit (can sub strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt


Make Crust: Preheat oven to 400ºF. In the bowl of a food processor, process flour, granulated sugar, and salt until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over flour mixture and pulse until mixture resembles damp sand, about twenty 1-second pulses. Remove 1/3 of crust mixture into medium bowl and set aside; Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and apply baking spray. Using hands or flat-bottomed measuring cup, firmly press the remaining 2/3’s of the mixture into even layer to form bottom crust. Bake until edges begin to brown, 12-15 minutes.

Prepare Streusel: While crust is baking, add brown sugar, oats, and nuts to reserved crust mixture; toss to combine. Work in the butter by rubbing mixture between fingers until butter is fully incorporated. Pinch mixture with fingers to create pea-sized clumps; set streusel aside.

Make Filling: Combine preserves, berries, lemon juice and salt in small bowl; mash with fork until combined but some berry pieces remain.

Assemble Bars: 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 deep golden brown and filling is bubbling, 18 minutes. Cool slightly in refrigerator. Using chef’s knife, cut into squares and serve.

Recipe adapted by Parties That Cook® www.PartiesThatCook.com from Cook’s Illustrated October 2005.

Enjoy the Sunshine with a Berry-ful Dessert From Parties That Cook

Now that we’re well into March, it’s time to give those New Years diets a rest. And with spring just around the corner, what better way to indulge that with a fresh fruit dessert. Take your basic cobbler to the next level with Parties That Cook’s recipe for a Blueberry Buckle with Aunt Polly’s Hot Cream Sauce. Feel free to substitute another berry or use a mix of fresh of fresh fruits.

Serves 12



Melted butter and granulated sugar for preparing pan
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
5 cups wild or cultivated blueberries, green stems removed

Cinnamon-Oat Topping:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (cut into cubes and chilled)

Hot Cream Sauce:
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350ºF

Prepare Pan: Brush a 9-inch spring-form pan or 14 ramekins with melted butter then dust it with sugar.   Set aside.

Make Buckle: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.  Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Reduce mixer speed to low, then add egg and vanilla.  Scrape down the sides and mix until well combined.  Alternate adding the reserved flour mixture and the milk to the mixer beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the blueberries.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Set aside while making the topping.

Cinnamon-Oat Topping: In a bowl, combine all the topping ingredients and pinch them together with your finger to with make crumbs.  Mix well. Spread topping over the Buckle.

Bake for 40-50 minutes (or 20-25 minutes if in ramekins), until the fruit is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife and a cake tester comes out batter-free.  Remove the cake from the oven; leave in the pan for 10 minutes on a cooling rack.  Remove from pan and let cool for 15 minutes before serving. (If using ramekins, serve right in the ramekins and pass the sauce at the table).

Hot Cream Sauce: In a heavy saucepan, add the milk, sugar, and butter.  Slit the vanilla bean down the center and scrap out the seeds into the milk mixture.  Add the bean, cinnamon and salt. Heat all the ingredients until the cream bubbles around the rim of the pan. Remove the bean.

Serve: Serve a slice of the buckle in a bowl and ladle the cream generously over. Or serve in a ramekin with the cream sauce in a separate bowl.  Serve immediately.

Recipe created by Parties That Cook® www.PartiesThatCook.com