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Jan 27, 2012

Raspberry Breakfast Bars

I had myself a mini bake-a-thon yesterday. It. Was. Magnificent. From sun up till sun down, I had the oven a goin' and the treats a bakin'. The house smelled other worldly and the kitchen was a disaster. Both signs of a successful baking endeavor. I'm not a great baker by any stretch of the imagination. I've had my fair share of baking missteps...like the time I coated Snickerdoodles with cinnamon salt instead of cinnamon sugar. Yeahhh, that happened. Or the first time I attempted to make a cheesecake and the second I took it out of the oven, the springform pan decided to unload itself onto my freshly mopped kitchen floor. I mean, c'mon. Proof that you should never bake in a clean kitchen. It's like some form of Murphy's Law...the second you clean it, a splatter catastrophe happens and you're back to mopping for the 3rd time that week. I speak the truth, ladies. Don't do it! Sigh. Though I'm not the savviest baker, I did learn a few good things from watching my Momma and I like to test them out from time to time. Even if it means scraping quiche fillings off the bottom of the oven every once in a while. Yeah, that happened too.

When I get this urge to bake, I'm always super cautious and over analyzing every step in the recipe just so I won't ruin a thing. This is probably why I spent all day baking and only have two treats to show for it. Well, that and the fact I have a ridiculously tiny German oven that only fits one (small) cookie sheet at a time. Bollocks.

With the help of Pinterest, I found the recipe for Raspberry Breakfast Bars. By the way, Pinterest=crack...if you didn't already know. If pinning is wrong, then I don't wanna be right! That's all I say on that. Just so you know, these bars are deceiving. When I first saw them I thought, "Oh, these look like a nice, healthy, breakfast bar that would be perfect pre-workout fuel." Then, I read the ingredients. Butter, dark brown sugar, more butter. DOH! Not so healthy. Did that stop me from making them? Not a chance in Hades. But, I did make some healthy subsitutions and additions (highlighted in orange). The nutritionist in me just had to.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Originally from the book- Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Ingredients for the crust & crumb:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (I added an extra 1/4 cup to bulk up the crust a bit)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (what can I say, I love cinnamon!)
1 stick of light, unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces (substituted part of the full fat butter for light butter)
1/4 stick of regular, unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoon milled flax seed (adds Omega-3 fatty acids, Lignans, and Fiber!)

Ingredients for raspberry filling:
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest (decreased amount for fear it would be too lemony)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pound raspberries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons light, unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of a 9" x 13" glass or light colored baking pan with cooking spray. Line with a sheet of parchment paper and let the paper extend up the 2 short sides and hang over the edge for easy removal. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.

Make the crust and crumb by putting the flour, brown sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, flax seed, and salt in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until ingredients are combined. Add the butter pieces and continue to pulse until loose crumbs form.

Reserve 1 1/4 cup of the crumb mixture and set aside. Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and press the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should cover the entire bottom of the pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. After baking, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling...you'll need it shortly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, and flour. Then pour in the raspberries, lemon juice, and melted butter. Toss gently to fully coat the raspberries.

Spread filling evenly on top of the cooled crust, then sprinkle the reserved crumble over the top of the filling. Try to cover as much of the raspberry filling as possible.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes for even baking. The top should be golden brown and the filling will start to bubble around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting into bars or squares. The bars can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days...if they last that long!

These are outta this world good. Tart, yet sweet...and I'm positive warming one of these babies up and topping it with a scoop of vanilla fro-yo (or ice cream if your not trying to watch your figure that much) would be ultra sinful. Just sayin'. They remind me a lot of a summer-time cobbler, but in a less gooey form. Only wish they'd bring the summer sunshine with them. Seriously, is it spring yet? Anywho, D loves them, and if my boy loves 'em, they're keepers! You'd be wise to give them a whirl too. ;) 

By the way, this was also my first run at photographing food with my new DSLR! Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. I've still got LOTS to learn, but it's fun experimenting, especially when the subject doesn't move. Until I bring it to my mouth, that is! As for yummy treat number 2 of the day...I'm saving that for a post next week. If you've got a soft spot for carbs and Mediterranean flavors, you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for that one. Till then, I'm off to deep clean my kitchen. I found a few rogue Cheerios in my spice rack. Wonder what other treasures await me?

Happy Friday, loves!


  1. Thanks Casey! I can't wait to make these. And I totally agree... Pinterst = Crack lol!

  2. I was anxiously awaiting this recipe...the shot with your new camera makes them look even better...can't wait to try them...miss you much, love you more!
    Mama B.

  3. Wow, these look delicious! Just found your blog and will definitely be back. Reading through some of your posts and your About Me section, it seems like we have an awful lot in common :) Enjoy those yummy bars!


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