There is a MN Food Bloggers community that I am very privileged to be a part of, this month one of the women who founded this group hosted a gathering and bar bake-off contest. I was so excited to participate but then work obligations came up and two days before I had to withdraw.
I think it was partly for the best. I was having bad luck, but I knew this combination would be a hit. The pan I ordered was the wrong size, I burnt my first batch of almonds, my raspberry jam, didn’t set right and was more like a coulis. Then I finally got the recipe down and work started shaking its finger at me going “oh I don’t think so.” This week, I made my bars anyways and they turned out as I knew, amazing. I just wish I could have entered them into the bake-off, which from posts and Facebook updates from the bloggers was great fun and had a life changing sangria that no one has stopped talking about.
I tried 3 different types of crust for this bar, and liked the results with just a very basic crust. I also made almond flour from toasted almonds and then a store-bought almond meal. The best result was the blanched silvered almonds, ground into a flour made the best frangipane. After that it was easy and yummy, this would also make a great winter or fall dessert bar, use up that fresh raspberry jam from the summer, and it makes it extra special. These are great and different then a typical dessert bar recipe. I am getting used to doing my recipes now in metric, I had added the conversions, but here is a nice clean chart you can use as well. Happy Baking!
Raspberry Frangipane Bars
8×8″ pan, 16 Bars
- 150 g (1 1/4c) Flour
- 60 g (1/2c) Frosting Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 145 g (10 tbsp) Unsalted Butter, cold
- 1 tsp Cold Water
In a bowl whisk the flour, sugar, and salt until well combined. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or fork, once it is in a small crumb stage, add 1 tsp of water and keep working the mixture with the pastry cutter until a soft dough forms. Press into an even layer into the bottom of a bar pan (8″x8″ or 10″x10″). Place in refrigerator to firm up. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake for 15 minutes, the edges will just start to turn golden brown. Place on a cookie sheet.
- 250 g of Raspberry Jam
While the crust is still warm, but you are able to move the pan around with a kitchen mit or rotating the cookie sheet. Using an angled spatula spread the jam in an even layer on top of the crust. Once you have an even layer start on the frangipane layer.
- 150 g (2/3c) Unsalted Butter, softened
- 150 g (1 1/3c)powered sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp Almond Extract
- 150 g (3/4c) Almond Flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp Rum
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the eggs, extract, and rum. Mix until well combined. Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add in the almond flour, once completely combined, spread in an even layer into your bar pan over the jam layer, gently using the angled spatula to help get an even layer. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350°F, until the top is light golden brown and the center gently springs back when lightly touched. Optional: About 2/3 of the way through cooking time, sprinkled with silvered almonds, it will give it a nice textural crunch to the bar.
Cool, and serve. Makes 16 Bars.
Notes: Almond Flour you can buy in the market pre-ground, or you can purchase blanched silvered almonds and grind them up in the food processor, sifting and processing as needed to get the desired weight.