Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Raspberry Chocolate Crumb Squares

The raspberry square is a classic dessert. Most recipes call for jam or a combination of jam and fresh raspberries. I like a little tartness provided by using only fresh. By adding cornstarch, the raspberries form a jam-like consistency. A little lemon juice with a controlled amount of sugar allows you to adjust the the level of tartness. I just so happened to have some mini chocolate chips on hand and added some to the filling. Naturally! With lemon zest and an almond crust, this is an extremely delicious and very festive dessert that will not last very long at any gathering!  I topped off the dessert with powdered sugar and some lemon vanilla icing.  If you are in a chocolate mood, chocolate sauce is great (there could never be enough chocolate!), but I really enjoyed the lemon vanilla icing with powdered sugar. It was like a streusel!  Like most of my recipes, you can veganize this one and replace the butter with Earth Balance and use an egg substitute. I would recommend trying out some different berries such as cherries, blackberries or blueberries. Whatever happens to be season or available. This is an easy recipe with many possibilities.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 stick butter
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup slivered almonds, ground
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
dash of salt
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Lemon zest

1.5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a tart pan or 9X9 baking dish. Combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until it is a course crumble. Stir in the egg, extract, and almonds. Spread 2/3 of the mixture into prepared tart pan. Reserve 1/3 of the mixture for the topping. In a separate bowl, combine the raspberries with 1/4 cup of sugar and cornstarch. Mash gently with a fork. Spread evenly over the crust. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over raspberry mixture followed by lemon zest, and remaining topping.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Let cool for at least 15 minutes (if you can wait that long!). Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Mix ingredients for vanilla icing. Add more or less milk for desired consistency. Drizzle icing over raspberry squares. 

This crust is perfect!


Now that we talking festive, delicious and jam-like... be sure to check out Boston local band, Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys ! Listen to their new album, SteamShipKillers on the website.  They are a must see live! 


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