I’m someone who obsesses with certain things from time to time – directors, actors, music, you name it. And food, of course. I obsessed with Ralph Fiennes so badly after “Schindler’s List” that I had to watch each and every film with him – and that led me to Kathryn Bigelow’s “Strange Days” (which is far better than “The Hurt Locker”, imho). Did I mention I was about 17 back then? Well. ;)
It might seem that I’m on a cake kick right now, but I’ve been really thinking about bars lately – and these are the ones to blame. They were so irresistible – and easy to make, despite the layers – that a search for great bars has begun, and the granola ones you see on the picture can certainly be part of the bar hall of fame: they were so good I almost did not share them. :)
Back to school raspberry granola bars
from The Craft of Baking
¾ cup (168g/1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup (110g) pecans, roughly chopped
1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
1 ¼ cups (143g) old fashioned rolled oats – I made a mistake and used 1 ½ cups (172g)
1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (58g) light brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup raspberry preserves
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 20cm (8in) square baking pan, line it with foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides and butter the foil as well.
Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake until lightly golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Cool the sheet completely on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda and the cooled pecans. Pour in the melted butter and mix until well combined. Transfer about 2/3 of the mixture to the prepared pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan, forming a firmly packed layer. Using a spatula spread the preserves over the base. Evenly sprinkle the remaining dough over the preserves. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the top is golden brown and fragrant, about 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely. With the aid of the foil handles, carefully remove from the pan and cut into squares.
The bars can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.