Thursday, March 15, 2012

Raspberry Crumb Bars and Taliesin West

My parents came to the big AZ this past weekend for a visit! My mom had one request: "Could you make those raspberry bars?" Done and done.

The raspberry bars were busy. They went to the pool, spring training games, and Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's southwestern studio and school of architecture (beautiful! see below).

The bars and I learned all about Frank's passion for natural architecture and his energy well into his seventies.  If you want inspiration for activity and creativity, this is the place to be provoked.

These raspberry crumb bars are a favorite. They basically taste like an oatmeal cookie sandwich with raspberry filling. Mmm mm mm, finger lickin' good! You can use either fresh or frozen raspberries (I recommend thawing the raspberries if they are frozen), so this recipe works any time of year! I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does :)

Raspberry Crumb Bars
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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 (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

Raspberry filling
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of one 9-by-13-inch or two 8-by-8-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 and sides of the pan.

Crust and Crumb:
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.

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

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. 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 three days.
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  1. Umm holy these bars sound and look absolutely amazing!! I love raspberry fillings and I would totally love a reaspberry filling in a crumb bar! Beautiful photos - I always love when the fam visits. :) Great recipe!
    - Lacy @

  2. they're gorgeous (the pics and the bars)! thanks for the recipe...i think i might add peaches, too. mmmmm

  3. These sound amazing! Most raspberry bars have a really "jammy" sort of filling, which I don't like so much... this one, on the other hand, sounds like it's very fresh and fruity. These are totally going on my must-bake list for the weekend!

  4. @ lacyd: thanks! it was a great visit :)

    @ Jennifer: what a great idea! i'll definitely do that when peach season rolls around...

    @ Isabelle: yes, exactly! they taste nothing like jam.

  5. Those bars had a more exciting few days than I did, that's for sure! I can totally see why they're a favorite =)

  6. These crumb bars look fantastic - simply perfect :D
    I love their photography!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Strawberry Hot Fudge Choc Cobbler

  7. I've made her bars before to... but I would have to admit I think yours look better. :) I love Frank Lloyd Wright, such a great picture.

  8. I'm jealous of the adventures these bars had...If I make them does that mean I will have fabulous adventures, too?

    Hell, I'd just sit at home and eat the whole pan, who am I kidding?!

  9. These bars are just plain gorgeous!

  10. Oh, yeah...I'm definitely making these beauties!! Thanks for sharing :)

  11. Wow, this recipe looks and sounds awesome! Great picture and your field trip looked like a lot of fun!

  12. Your pictures are amazing...Literally, there'd be no crumbs left when I prepare these delicious bars! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Your pictures of these bars are gorgeous!! I need to make some of these asap!

  14. I love the photo where they are all gone! Can't go wrong with anything raspberry :)

  15. Wow these bars look so delicious! I love the photos too... especially the one with the smeared raspberry! :)
    -Elyse @The Cultural Dish

  16. Made them last night and they were amazing


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