TASTEFOOD: A quick and easy streusel bar to add to your holiday baking list

Raspberry-Almond Streusel Bars (Photo by Lynda Balslev for TasteFood)

These cookie bars couldn’t be easier. Almond flour and oats team up with flour in a cinnamon-laced streusel, which does double-duty as the topping and base for these bars, sandwiching an intense raspberry filling.

The topping and base ingredients are made together — quickly blitzed in a food processor and then divided for assembly, with a handful of chopped almonds added to the topping for good measure. The combination of fresh raspberries and raspberry preserves creates a bright filling that is sweet and fruity but not overly cloying.

The almond flour and oats add a hint of heft to this sweet treat, nudging the bars into the almost-good-for-you department — but who are we kidding? Whether you call them indulgent or healthy-ish, be sure to make them. They will be a great addition to any lunchbox or holiday cookie list and are guaranteed to be a hit.

** ** **

Raspberry-Almond Streusel Bars

Active time: 25 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Yield: makes 16 (2-inch) square bars

Crust and Topping:

1 cup almond flour (meal)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, coarsely chopped


1/2 cup raspberry preserves

6 ounces fresh raspberries

1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord (optional)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-by-8-inch baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment, leaving a 1-inch overhang on two opposite sides. Butter the parchment.

Combine the almond meal, flour, oats, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine, 1 to 2 times. Add the butter and extracts. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 10 to 12 times. Transfer 3/4 cup of the mixture to a bowl; add the almonds and set aside for the topping. Press the remaining mixture firmly and evenly into the pan. Bake until light golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Place the preserves, raspberries and liqueur (if using) in a bowl. Mix with a fork to combine, lightly mashing the whole raspberries but leaving some pieces intact. Spread the raspberries over the crust. Sprinkle the topping over the filling.

Bake until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cut in 2-inch squares. Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.