Raspberry Streusel Bars

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These raspberry bars are pretty amazing. David said they are the best dessert bars he’s ever had, and they just so happen to be gluten-free. Fresh raspberries mixed with raspberry jam makes a yummy fruit center, and the streusel topping is buttery, nutty deliciousness.

from: The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook
makes: 16 bars

6 ounces (1 1/3 cup) Gluten-Free Flour Blend
2 1/3 ounces (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup pecans, chopped fine
1/4 cup gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
6 ounces (1/2 cup) raspberry preserves
2 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) fresh raspberries
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

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Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Make a foil sling for an 8″ square baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil so each is 8 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan; spray with vegetable oil spray.

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Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix flour blend, granulated sugar, salt, and xanthan gum on low speed until combined, about 5 seconds. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and continue to mix for 2 to 3 minutes.

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Measure 1/2 cup of dough into medium bowl and set aside. Distribute the remaining dough evenly into prepared pan and press firmly into even later using the bottom of a measuring cup. Bake until the edges begin to brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.

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While the crust is baking, add brown sugar, pecans, and oats to reserved dough; use hands to mix until well incorporated. Pinch mixture with fingers to create lumps; set streusel aside.

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Combine preserves, raspberries, and lemon juice in a small bowl and mash with a fork until combined but some berry pieces remain.

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Spread filling evenly over hot crust; sprinkle streusel topping evenly over filling (do not press streusel into filling). Return pan to oven and bake until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 22-25 minutes.

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Let bars cool completely in pan on wire rack, 1 to 2 hours. Using foil overhang, lift the bars out of the pan, cut into squares and serve. Bars are best eaten on the day they are baked, but they can be cooled and placed immediately in an airtight container and stored at room temperature for 1 or 2 days, but the crust and streusel may soften.

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