I love to bake. Yet it definitely leans towards more of a winter passion as something to do for comfort when the weather is just unbearable. In the summer though, well, I must not need as much comfort. I hadn’t preheated my oven in weeks. Yet I realized one day I missed that part of my normal routine. The butter softening on the counter, the baking dish greased up and ready to go, and of course, my trusty mixer.
I wanted to bake something summery though, and when I caught wind of Ina’s raspberry crumble bars I knew that was just the thing to fill my baking void.
Like summer should be, these were crazy easy. No mess of rolling out dough. The topping is simply some of the dough mixed together with granola (genius). The raspberry screams summer and the sprinkling of powdered sugar on top is just lovely.
So if you’re a baker, and you miss baking, this is just the thing to get you back into your routine. Even in the dead of summer these bars are completely worth it. An icy glass of lemonade on the side would be perfection.
RASPBERRY CRUMBLE BARS
Recipe from Ina Garten
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
10 to 12 ounces good raspberry jam, such as Hero
2/3 cup good granola without dried fruit
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium speed just until combined. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla.
Sift the flour and salt together and, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter mixture, mixing until it almost comes together. Lightly pat two-thirds of the dough evenly on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan and about 1/4-inch up the sides. Spread with the raspberry jam, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Mix the granola into the rest of the dough with your hands. Break the dough into small bits and distribute it on top of the jam, covering most of the surface. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Bake the bars for 45 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges.
Cool completely and cut into 9 or 12 bars. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.