Raspberry Bars with Cocoa StreuselPhoto Credit : Kristin Teig | Styling by Catrine Kelty | Handmade Pottery from Mimi Olins of SOFTSET ceramics
These bars are made with a layer of shortbread and a layer of cocoa streusel, with a ribbon of fresh berries running through the center. The technique of grating the shortbread dough comes courtesy of pastry chef Gale Gand, who shared it with Julia Child on their show, Baking with Julia.
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
½ cup granulated sugar
First, make the shortbread: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer), beat the butter on high speed until pale and fluffy, then add the egg yolk and sugar and beat until the sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients and continue mixing until the dough comes together in a ball.
Wrap the dough in a sheet of plastic wrap and freeze for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the streusel. (The shortbread dough can be made up to a month ahead, wrapped tightly and frozen until ready to use; let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before using.)
9 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
6 tablespoons almond flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
¹⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 pints (12 ounces) fresh raspberries
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Next, make the streusel: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, ¼ cup sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder, and salt, and mix on low speed until combined. Add the butter and continue to mix on low until the mixture looks like crumbly wet sand. If it appears very fine, grab a small amount in your hand and squeeze; it should hold together in a clump. Set aside.
Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides (this will make removing the baked bars from the pan easier). Preheat the oven to 350°.
In a medium bowl, combine the raspberries, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon sugar and toss gently to coat. Remove the shortbread dough from the freezer and coarsely grate on the large holes of a box grater directly into the prepared pan. Scatter the grated dough so it covers the bottom of the pan, but don’t press down on the dough; as it bakes, it will meld together. Scatter the berries over the dough in an even layer, then top with the cocoa streusel, distributing it evenly over the raspberries.
Transfer to the oven and bake until the shortbread layer is deep golden brown (look at the edges and any exposed shortbread peeking through the streusel and berries), 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Once cool, use the parchment to help lift the bars out of the pan. Set on a cutting board, then use a sharp knife to cut into 12 (2-by-2-inch) bars.