TasteFood: A gluten-free raspberry streusel bar with an extra toasty step

TasteFood: A gluten-free raspberry streusel bar with an extra toasty step

These zingy streusel bars couldn’t be easier. I call them “lazy bars” because the streusel topping also forms the base of the bar, thus eliminating the additional step of preparing a separate base. The result is a tender, squidgy bar streaked with raspberry and crowned with a crunchy golden streusel redolent with nuts, which also happens to be gluten-free. Need I say more?

In fact, yes, there is one more thing to add: For extra toasty flavor, I suggest toasting the almond flour. This is a new technique for me that is frankly revelatory and embarrassingly obvious, since it makes utter sense. If you think about the difference between the flavor of raw nuts and toasted nuts, you can imagine how that may translate to baked goods; I am relieved to have finally joined the party. While toasting the almond flour isn’t a necessary step, it does provide an extra nuttiness and, well, toasty-ness to the flavor of these bars. I recommend trying it.

If you decide to toast the almond flour, spread the flour in a skillet in an even layer. Toast over medium heat until light golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Immediately remove the skillet from the heat and spread the almond flour on a plate to stop the cooking process. Cool completely.

Note that these bars will be soft. Cool them completely on a rack, then refrigerate them until cold, so they will firm up before cutting.

Raspberry Streusel Bars

Makes approximately 30 (1½-inch-square) bars


Crust and Topping:

1 cup gluten-free oats

1 cup almond flour, preferably toasted

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

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

1/4 cup pistachios (or almonds), chopped


8 ounces fresh raspberries

1/2 cup raspberry preserves

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Pinch of kosher salt


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-by-8-inch or 9-by-9-inch baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment, leaving a 1-inch overhang on two opposite sides.

Combine the oats, almond flour, coconut flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and mix with two forks or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (Alternatively, combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse once to blend. Add the butter and pulse about 6 to 8 times, or until the butter is pea-sized.)

Transfer 3/4 cup of the mixture to a small bowl and mix in the nuts. Refrigerate until use. Press the remaining mixture firmly and evenly into the baking pan. Bake until light golden brown, about 20 minutes.

While the base is baking, place the raspberries, preserves, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Mix with a fork to combine, lightly mashing the whole raspberries but leaving some pieces intact.

When the base is ready, remove from the oven and leave the oven on. Spread the raspberries over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved topping evenly over the filling.

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Return the pan to the oven and bake until the topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then cover the pan and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill the bars until cold and set.

To serve, lift the bars out of the pan using the overhanging parchment. Cut into 1½-inch squares. Serve at room temperature (they will soften slightly as they come to room temperature). Store in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze for up to one month. Defrost the bars in the refrigerator overnight.

Lynda Balslev is a San Francisco Bay Area cookbook author, food and travel writer and recipe developer.

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