Foodie Fridays – Raspberry Streusal Bars

So I made these a few weeks back as part of a cookie exchange with a few of my best friends right before Christmas.  We each made a bunch of one or two types of cookies (I also made these chocolate chip bacon cookies), and then pooled them together and split them up evenly so everyone had a great variety.  I highly suggest finding at least one other friend that is willing to do this with you. It’s a great excuse to get together, and it also forces you to make something (whereas in previous years I had high hopes and then scraped them last minute).

So against my better judgement, I have to tell you how bad I am at following directions before I give you the recipe.  I blame my mother and grandmother.  There is just something in our blood that makes us feel like we don’t really need to follow the directions. I’ve found that for as many times as I’ve improved a recipe for not following it exactly, I’ve also ruined recipes.  And I had just recently ruined an entire dinner so Tom was giving me an extra hard time about whether or not I was going to follow these cookie recipes while I was making them.  I told him my mom already told me to skip the almonds and powered sugar, but I was following everything else to a T.  So I did that and for some reason my mixture was not coming to a nice crumble as I expected.  I even baked it longer, thinking that maybe something was wrong with the oven:

The next day I was at work and it dawned on me.  I had a brief mental fart the night before and had only put in half the butter it called for.  When I had read 3/4 cup butter, I had translated that to 3/4 of a stick of butter in my head.  Which clearly, is less than 1/2 cup, or approximately half of what the recipe called for.  I am really amazed that I have a great job at a private equity firm doing taxes sometimes.  Math is not my strong subject. Anyway, I tried the whole thing again last night, and this beauty came out of the oven:

Of course I called my mother to let her in on the secret and we had a good laugh…but what bothered both of us is that I probably made this same butter calculation mistake when I made the chocolate chip bacon cookies, and they turned out fine. I’m not really sure if what I’m saying is, don’t use all the butter in the other cookie recipe, because clearly they turn out fine with only half of it.  Maybe they will be even better than what I ended up with if you use the correct amount of butter.  Or maybe I didn’t make a mistake when I made those. Who knows. I certainly never will. Now I feel like I’ve led you to never want to trust one of my recipes again. But you should. I think. Anyway – literally copied and pasted from the original site (so no typos!) here is the recipe:

Raspberry Streusel Squares
1 1/2 c. flour 
1 tsp. baking powder 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/2 c. sugar 
1/2 c. light brown sugar 
3/4 c. butter 
1 1/2 c. quick cooking rolled oats 
1 jar (10 oz.) red raspberry preserves 
1/4 c. chopped almonds 
Powdered sugar

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl; stir in sugars. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly; stir in oats. Press about 2/3’s of mixture onto bottom of lightly greased 9 x 9 inch baking pan. Spread with preserves. Add almonds to remaining crumb mixture and sprinkle over preserves. Patting down lightly. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire rack. Then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares.

Am I the only one that says rasP – berry in my head every time I try to read raspberry?  The I force myself to say raZZ – berry.  Then I get confused and annoyed at the English language. Anyway – make these for New Year’s Eve!! And have a safe and happy weekend! 2012 here we come!

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