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OUR BEST BITES: THE RECIPE THAT ALMOST GOT AWAY

Sara Wells

August 01, 2012

Crazy things happen when one is immersed in writing a cook book.  Kitchens are chaotic, dishes are dirtied, pounds are gained, and occasionally minds are lost.  With so many details to account for, it’s not surprising that some end up slipping through the cracks- like this recipe!  It was created for our new cook book, Savoring The Seasons with Our Best Bites, to showcase one of our favorite summer fruits: fresh raspberries.  When all was said and done, and we previewed the final copy of the book I realized something…it was missing!  I still don’t know how it slipped past us, but it’s way too good not to share, so here you go!

Raspberry Cheesecake Crumb Bars
One of the highlights of summer is a plentiful supply of fresh berries, and sun-ripened raspberries are one of our favorites.  Whether you pick your own, or find them at a local farmer’s market, they will shine in these buttery, crumb-topped bars, and burst with flavor when combined with a layer of almond cheesecake. 

Crust and Crumb Topping
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup real butter (2 sticks), very cold.
1 egg, lightly beaten

Cheesecake Layer
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 eggs, at room temperature (place shelled eggs in a bowl of warm tap water for 10 minutes)

2 cups fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine brown and white sugars, flour, salt, and baking powder.  Use a cheese grater to grate butter into flour mixture and use your fingers, or a pastry cutter to crumble mixture together.  Add beaten egg and quickly mix together with fork or pastry cutter to distribute.  Place half of crumb mixture into prepared pan and use hands to press down in an even layer.  Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and ¼ teaspoon baking powder until smooth.  Add in almond extract, and then eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until smooth.

Pour cheesecake mixture over crust layer in pan.  Sprinkle raspberries evenly over the top.  Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top of that.  Bake for 40-50 minutes, until lightly golden brown on top. 

Cool to room temperature, and then chill for 1 hour before cutting.