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Monday, January 31, 2011

Recipe for Raspberry Lemon Bars

Here’s a "special treat" recipe I developed for a contest (sponsored by Earth Balance but I wasn't paid or given product to participate or blog about it).  It was a bake off and we had to bake some type of brownie or bar.  I thought about submitting my Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies but wanted to try something new.  The recipe didn't win the contest (but my pie won in the pie section!)

I love raspberry or lemon bars but have never made them.  For inspiration, I looked up raspberries in The Flavor Bible, (by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, 2008) and one of the “flavor affinities” that caught my eye was raspberries + almonds + lemon.  I tried to make these as “healthy” and low calorie as I thought I could without sacrificing the dish.  I used toasted oats and half whole wheat pastry flour along with some ground flax seed.  For the raspberry portion, I used a low sugar all fruit spread.  Finally, I used brown sugar/sucralose blend for the sugar and kept the amount to the lowest I thought reasonable and they were still plenty sweet.

The toasted oats and almonds made the kitchen smell sooooo good.  And the outcome?  Ta Da-home run!

Makes 16 bars, each approximately 218 calories, 9 grams fat, 34 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams protein; 6 WW Points +

Non-stick foil (or regular foil sprayed with cooking spray)

1 ½ cup toasted old fashioned oats
¾ cup WW pastry flour
¾ cup AP flour
¼ cup ground flax seed
¼ cup plus 2 TBSP brown sugar/sucralose blend
10 TBSP Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (or butter)

8 ounces raspberry all-fruit spread
5 ounces lemon curd

Reserved ¾ cup of crust mixture
¼ cup plus 2 TBSP toasted sliced almonds
1 TBSP brown sugar/sucralose blend
1/8 tsp salt

Toast oats and almonds in separate pans at 350 x 12 minutes.

Remove from tray to cool. 
In food processor pulse together crust ingredients until just mixed and crumbly. 

Reserve ¾ cup of mixture and press remainder firmly in to the bottom of 9 x 9 pan that has been lined with non-stick foil (or foil sprayed with cooking spray).  Bake at 350 x 15 min.
First time I have used the non-stick foil-it is great!
A flat bottomed measuring cup worked great to press crust down.
Warm each fruit spread separately in microwave when crust comes out of oven.  Alternate rows of each spread. 

Swirl with back of spoon to slightly blend, but try to keep distinct areas of each.  Add a dollop or two more if needed to fill in.
Pulse ¼ cup toasted almonds in food processor and mix in to reserved crust mixture.  Add additional brown sugar/sucralose blend and salt.  Sprinkle over filling and press very gently to adhere.  Sprinkle remaining almonds over top.
Bake at 350 x 25 min.  Place on rack and cool completely (several hours). 

Remove from pan and cut in to bars.  Store in airtight container.
The foil is amazing, can you imagine that jam baked on a pan?
What have you been baking these days?

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