A Cookie, A Bar, or a Petit Four: Almond Raspberry Bars

Helen Fletcher says that her "Almond Raspberry Triangles" were one of the most popular petit fours at her bakery, but points out that they can be served as cookies, bars, triangles, or petit fours. The bars have raspberry jam sandwiched between a shortbread crust and a flourless almond topping. 

The crust is simply a mixture of flour, sugar, and butter that can be made in a mixer (with softened butter) or a food processor (with cold butter). You press the crust into the bottom of a lined pan and bake it until golden. You spread raspberry jam on top of the crust, and I made one batch with raspberry preserves and another batch with black raspberry preserves. You make the topping in a food processor by grinding toasted almonds with sugar (I just used almond flour); and adding eggs, an egg white, salt, Amaretto, vanilla, almond extract, and melted butter. You spread the topping over the jam and bake the bars until the top is golden brown and set.
I cut my bars into rectangles and they were quite thin. They also were not as study as I was expecting. The recipe headnote says that the bars ship and travel well, but my crust was a little crumbly and I would not attempt to mail these bars. While I love black raspberry preserves, I think that the more vibrant flavor of the red raspberry jam worked better (you can see both varieties in the photo above).
I liked the combination of almond and raspberry in these bars, but something about them left me unsatisfied -- they seemed unsubstantial and lacked any distinctive texture. The top layer was a bit soft and damp, but I believe it was fully cooked. Perhaps I would have viewed these bars differently if they were cut into very small squares and presented as a petit four. But as a bar, I enjoyed them but wouldn't make them again.
Recipe: "Almond Raspberry Triangles" from Craving Cookies by Helen Fletcher.


Anonymous said…
I wonder if it was the almond flour. My girl friend had a cookie recipe passed down from her grandmother, but she could never get it to be the same while subbing almond flour for the ground almonds.
That's a good point -- I always use almond flour when a recipe calls for ground almonds because it saves so much time, but I know that sometimes it can produce different results.