Thursday, July 17, 2008

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Cookie Carnival: Raspberry Almond Bars

It's that time of the month again...Cookie Carnival time! I was so excited when I saw the cookie recipe that was chosen for this month because I was going to be trying something new: making curd. I have never made curd and, to be honest, I didn't even know what curd was. Whenever I heard "curd" I always thought it had something to do with milk since, you know, milk curdles.And usually when my milk curdles, it's not a good thing for my taste buds or my nose. But when you are using fruit to make curd, there's no way that can be bad for the senses. The original cookie recipe that was chosen was for Blackberry Almond Bars, but since I couldn't find blackberries anywhere I went with raspberries. The raspberries were a good replacement because the taste was phenomenal and I fell in love with the color combination of the gold shortbread and mauve curd. This cookie is so delicious that I ate nearly half of what I made (which was half of the recipe) and I definitely recommend others try this simple and healthy (it has fruit in it, alright?) dessert.

Raspberry Almond Bars
Source: Williams-Sonoma


For the shortbread:
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground toasted almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

For the raspberry curd:
2 pints raspberries
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch cake pan.

To make the shortbread, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter, flour, almonds, granulated sugar and salt and process until small lumps form. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and press evenly into the bottom. Bake until the shortbread is golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Meanwhile, make the raspberry curd: In a food processor or blender, puree the raspberries until smooth. Pass the puree through a chinois set over a bowl, using a pestle to press on the solids and extract as much juice as possible; discard the solids. You should have about 3/4 cup juice.

In the top pan of a double boiler or in a nonreactive saucepan, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until blended. Then whisk in the raspberry juice, salt and lemon juice. Set the top pan over but not touching simmering water in the bottom pan, or set the saucepan over medium-low heat. (If using a saucepan, take care not to heat the mixture too quickly.) Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula or spoon, until the mixture is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Begin adding the butter a little at a time, stirring each addition until blended before adding more. Continue cooking, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan, until a finger drawn across the back of the spatula leaves a path, 8 to 10 minutes more. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Pass the curd through the chinois set over a bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk to blend, then pour the curd over the shortbread, spreading it evenly to the edges.

Bake until the curd is set, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into individual bars, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Dust the bars with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Makes 20 bars.

Close-up of yummy goodness.



Joelen said...

Those look perfect for summer! I love the combo of raspberries and almond in pastries... so having it in cookie for is perfect!

Maryanna said...

Those look great. My aunt saved a recipe for an almond/raspberry coffee cake that I can't wait to make. Good combination!

Melissa said...

I love raspberries and don't eat them nearly enough! Those bars look absolutely perfect!

kim said...

OOH those look delicious... I can almost taste them! :)

PheMom said...

Yum! Glad to know the raspberry works too!

Annie said...

I've had this recipe bookmarked forever! Glad to know it is good with raspberries too. They look gorgeous, hopefully I'll make them soon!

~Amber~ said...

Wow, these look delicious. All that bright red juicy raspberry filling. Mmmmm

Angie said...

Anything with shortbread I'll love and I've never had Raspberry Curd before so I may just need to try! P.S. - tag, you're it! Check out my blog for more info!

Pamela said...

Your pictures are absolutely stunning! Great job. I love the long shot of the cookies, with a little of the raspberry coming over the edge. Raspberry sounds so good!

Stacey said...

Your pictures are gorgeous! Those look so good!

lilmizlynn said...

Yours look great. Love your lovely red and white platter. :)

kamaile said...

The color of your curd is lovely. I was going to go with raspberries, but found some blackberries at the last minute. I'm sure I would have loved these just as much.

Roni said...

Your bars are gorgeous and the color is beautiful. I think I want to try this again, but using raspberries. I like them better than blackberries, and it makes an awesome looking bar.

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Raspberry curd sounds yummy!