Raspberry Almond Bars

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A flaky almond, pastry crust topped with a raspberry jam and almond paste topping. These Raspberry Almond Bars are a uniquely delicious treat!

A flaky almond, pastry crust topped with a raspberry jam and almond paste topping. These Raspberry Almond Bars are a uniquely delicious treat!

12 DAYS OF HOLIDAY TREATS: DAY 11

Welcome to Day 11 of SugarSpicesLife 12 Days of Holiday Treats! This is a 12 day recipe series focusing on holiday goodies!

Today’s recipe is once my favorites of the year: Raspberry Almond Bars.

Raspberry Almond Bars

History

I lived in Boston for four years and loved to frequent the North End (the area of the city with all of the Italian restaurants). My favorite place: Mike’s Pastry.

At Mike’s Pastry they had shelves of cookies that were shaped like fruit, vegetables, and other foods. I didn’t know what they were, only that they were called marzipan, and I wasn’t particularly interested in them.

Until one day when I tasted a friend’s cookie, and was instantly mad at myself for not having tried marzipan earlier.

Inspiration

A few years ago a friend of mine gave me a Christmas Cookie Cookbook. In that book, there was a recipe for Apricot Marzipan Bars. It made me think of Mike’s marzipan, and I wanted to make them and eat them ASAP.

However, the recipe wasn’t me. I read it and realized it would not be something that I personally would like. But, it gave me the inspiration to use either almond paste or marzipan in a dessert bar.

A flaky almond, pastry crust topped with a raspberry jam and almond paste topping. These Raspberry Almond Bars are a uniquely delicious treat!

Pastry Crust

The crust of these bars use:

  • All purpose flour
  • Almond flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Shortening

Can you use salted butter?

Yes. But, you’ll need to reduce the salt.

Do you have to use almond flour?

No, you don’t, you can substitute all purpose flour. However, the almond flour makes the crust just a little almondy, and a more interesting flavor than just all purpose flour.

Use unsalted butter and shortening?!

Yes. The shortening helps to make the pastry flaky, while the butter adds flavor. Even with Buttermilk Biscuits, I’m a fan of using both.

A flaky almond, pastry crust topped with a raspberry jam and almond paste topping. These Raspberry Almond Bars are a uniquely delicious treat!

Filling

The filling for these bars is based on the filling for my White Almond Cake with Raspberry Filling and Buttercream Frosting. That filling for is originally from CakeBoss.

Do you have to use frozen raspberries?

I highly recommend you do as they are pre-portioned, and when they thaw, you’ll get some raspberry juice.

Is it important to use raspberry liqueur?

YES. I have made this filling dozens and dozens of time. I have made it without the raspberry liqueur and the flavor is not anywhere near as good.

Tip for smooth filling:

When it’s time to mix in the cornstarch, take out about 1/4 cup of the juice, and whisk in the cornstarch until it’s very smooth. If you whisk the cornstarch into the pot, you’re more likely to end up with clumps.

Topping

For the topping, I use an 8 ounce box of almond paste. Could you make your own? Of course! But, the box tastes good, it’s mixed with multiple other ingredients so you don’t taste only the paste itself, and let’s be real, it’s just a lot easier.

A flaky almond, pastry crust topped with a raspberry jam and almond paste topping. These Raspberry Almond Bars are a uniquely delicious treat!

These Raspberry Almond Bars are uniquely delicious holiday treat that will impress all your almond loving friends!

A flaky almond, pastry crust topped with a raspberry jam and almond paste topping. These Raspberry Almond Bars are a uniquely delicious treat!

Raspberry Almond Bars

A flaky almond, pastry crust topped with a raspberry jam and almond paste topping. These Raspberry Almond Bars are a uniquely delicious treat!
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Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 24 squares
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Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 6-8 tablespoons water

Filling

  • 12 ounce bag frozen raspberries thawed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur

Topping

  • 8 ounce box almond paste
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions

Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper so that the paper comes up all four sides of the pan.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, almond flour, salt and sugar. Cut in butter and shortening with two knives, a pastry cutter, or using a food processor with dough attachment.
  • Stir in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a soft dough forms.
  • Press dough into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Let cool completely, about 1 hour, before topping with filling.

Filling

  • Thaw raspberries and strain juice from berries (I put a large strainer over a bowl and let the berries thaw in the strainer).
  • Add enough water to the juice in the bowl so that you have 3/4 cup of liquid.
  • Combine juice mixture with sugar and lemon juice in a medium sized saucepan. Take out about 1/4 cup of liquid and place in a small bowl. Whisk in cornstarch until very smooth. Return mixture to saucepan.
  • Cook mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. Once mixture thickens, remove from heat and set aside.
  • Place the raspberries in a mesh strainer. Place strainer over a bowl and press berries with spoon so that pulp falls into a bowl. Strain until you have at least 1/3 cup of pulp (okay to use up to 1/2 cup of pulp).
  • Once the mixture in the saucepan has cooled so that it is warm but no longer hot, stir in the raspberry pulp and raspberry liqueur. Place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours before proceeding to next step.

Topping and Baking

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree.
  • Spread cooled raspberry filling evenly over crust.
  • Place almond paste, sugar, and butter into a food processor. Pulse until mixture is crumbly.
  • Add eggs and pulse until well combined.
  • Add flour, salt, and vanilla extract. Pulse until just combined.
  • Spread mixture evenly over raspberry filling.
  • Bake for 32-36 minutes, or until top is golden.
  • Let cool completely, then cut into squares. Sift powdered sugar over tops of squares before serving.

Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided on this website is an estimate only and is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe?Mention @SugarSpicesLife or tag #SugarSpicesLife!

If you enjoyed these Raspberry Almond Bars, you might also enjoy these other SugarSpicesLife recipes:

Raspberry Almond Cookies
Orange Berry Shortcake
Cookie Dough Brownie Bars
Brown Butter Mud Hen Bars
Chocolate Raspberry Torte

A flaky almond, pastry crust topped with a raspberry jam and almond paste topping. These Raspberry Almond Bars are a uniquely delicious treat!
A flaky almond, pastry crust topped with a raspberry jam and almond paste topping. These Raspberry Almond Bars are a uniquely delicious treat!

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