It's funny- one would think, one would hope that when a body is in healing mode that it would crave only and all of what is good for it. Personally, all I want is sugar. Now, I am an admitted sugar addict, but I am even more ridiculous right now than I normally am. It makes me afraid of getting pregnant...
Right now I am craving one of my favorite sweets to eat and bake. Unfortunately, I am certain to not be able to make them with one arm indisposed. Call them raspberry almond bars, raspberry streusel bars, mazurkas, whatever. They come from my ever favorite Macrina Bakery Cookbook from my ever favorite Macrina Bakery downtown. She calls them "Fruit and Oat Bars," which makes them sound altogether much more healthy than they actually are.
They are on my mind because I have been asked to make them for a women's luncheon for this Saturday. Don't worry, Friday night I will have the help of a dear friend to do everything I cannot.
So here you are:
Leslie Mackie's Fruit and Oat Bars from the Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook
For the sweet almond dough crust:
1/4 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup granulate sugar
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Roast almonds for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees, cool, and finely grind in a food processor. Measure out 2 tablespoons, and combine with sugar and flour in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together vanilla extract, almond extract, and melted butter. Add mixture to dry ingredients and mix until coarse and crumbly. The finished dough will stick together when squeezed.
Reduce oven to 325 degrees. Using your fingers press dough into an oiled 13x 9 1/2 inch baking pan, covering the bottom and 3/4 inch of the sides with 1/4 inch of dough. Chill for 30 minutes.
Line the chilled crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes until edges are golden. Remove paper and beans.
For the topping:
2 1/2 cups raspberry preserves
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
Using a rubber spatula, cover the crust with raspberry preserves.
Cut butter into 1/4 inch pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Add sugar, flour, and oats. Using your fingers, mix the ingredients, working the butter into the flour until the ingredients are combined and the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the preserves.
Bake on center rack for about 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the preserves are bubbling around the edges. Cool (if you can!) at least 30 minutes before cutting.