Sunday, April 07, 2013

Raspberry Oat and Nut Bars

I spent most of this Sunday in the kitchen... Spring still seems a long time coming. It's grey and cold and I think we're all longing for sunlight. Well, at least, baking never fails to cheer me up. Actually, I wanted to bake a rhubarb cake today, but sometimes, I spontaneously change my mind and somehow, I ended up with these nutty fruity chewy gooey bars. I used the rhubarb to make jam instead (recipe to be posted soon). But first, here comes the recipe for this wonderful treat. WARNING: These bars here have absolutely nothing to do with healthy granola bars. They're awfully sweet and sticky - and awfully good!

(from: Ottolenghi - The Cookbook)

120g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g unsalted butter
60g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
80g whole rolled oats

220g raspberry jam

50g flaked almonds
70g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
70g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
70g Brazil nuts, roughly chopped (I had none, so I used macadamias instead)
100g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
40ml milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Lightly grease a 20cm square tin (I used my brownie tin) and line with parchment paper.

To make the base, sift together flour and baking powder. Add the butter, sugar and salt and rub everything together with your fingertips to form crumbs. Stir in the oats. Spread this mixture over the base of the prepared tin; don't press down too much, so the base remains light. Bake for about 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little, then spread with the jam.

For the topping, place the nuts into a large bowl. In a small saucepan, heat up the butter, sugar, milk and vanilla essence. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then pour the mixture over the chopped nuts and stir together. Pack the nut mix evenly over the jam and return to the oven for 30 minutes, until the nuts have turned a nice golden brown.

Leave to cool, then remove from the tin and slice into bars or squares.

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