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These simple and delicate sandwiches are perfect to give as gifts around the holidays. Home made goodies have a warming effect on people, one of the reasons why I love to bake. Well, there’s that and I have allergies.

I used the following recipe to make about a dozen raspberry-filled lusikkaleivat and packaged them for a bake sale. Use any jam you like, and for you nut-eaters Nutella would probably rock as a filling.

  • 1 cup soft salted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • raspberry jam (If it’s too thin, reduce in a pan and cool completely. I use a whole fruit jam.)

Cream the butter and sugar. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the yolk and vanilla to the butter and blend well. Add the flour mixture and mix just until blended together.

Note: Finns will brown the butter to bring out a nutty flavor. I’ve made these both ways and prefer room temperature butter. Using the browned butter will yield a crumbly dough that you spoon onto the pan. I like a flatter cookie because they are easier to eat, remember the thickness of the finished cookie will be twice as thick as one cookie!

Drop tablespoons of the dough on a parchment sheet covered pan, press them flat with your palm. Bake for about 10 minutes at 350ºF, or until the edges just start to brown. You should have enough to make a dozen sandwiched cookies.

The dough:
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The cookies, ready to be given to lucky friends:
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2013-11-30 09.54.54

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Update: I tweeked the recipe a little more, enjoy!

I made these raspberry bars for a friend to make her feel better.  Who wouldn’t smile at this?

Since neither of us can eat tree nuts, and gluten-free oats are not always gluten-free, I modified the original recipe to the following:

Crumb:

  • 1  cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (toasted)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 3 Tbsp cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2/3 c coconut oil

Filling:

  • 3 cup frozen raspberries (two bags organic frozen raspberries), thawed and drained
  • 1-2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Toast the shredded coconut as the oven warms up, just until lightly golden, about 5-10 minutes.  Set the berries to drain in a colander (save the juice to make fruit syrup for your waffles!  Also good added to seltzer or ginger ale.).  Line a square (preferably metal) 8×8″ pan with parchment paper, this will make it super easy to get the bars out later.

Combine the dry ingredients of the crumb mixture with a whisk.  Add about 1/2 cup of the coconut oil and work it into the flours and spices.   Using your hands, rub and mash the mixture until it resembles a coarse damp sand.  Add a tablespoon of the coconut oil at a time until you like the texture of the crumb.

Pat about 2/3rds of the crumb into the pan.  You want it to stick together but hold yourself back from compressing the bottom layer too much.

Take the raspberries to a bowl, keep the juices collected in a clean jar in your fridge until you can make something with it.  Don’t waste anything!  Stir in the other filling ingredients.  Spread the berry filling evenly over the bottom crust in the pan.

(option: add a bit more cinnamon to the remaining crumb mixture and some honey)  Lightly sprinkle the remaining crumb on top of the filling.  Bake for 30 – 45 minutes (it will depend on the type of pan and your oven).

Let it cool completely before removing it from the pan, you can put the whole pan in the fridge to cool the pan before picking up the parchment ends to remove the bars.  Cut into squares or bars and keep refrigerated up to 3 days (if they last that long!).  Best served the day you make them.

Chef’s Notes: With the quantities of quinoa and coconut listed in this version, it seemed like there wasn’t enough of the crumb to go around.  Next time, I will use 2 cups of quinoa flakes and 2/3 cup shredded coconut.  The toasted bits of coconut give hints of a nutty flavor and crunch that is missing due to the absent oats.

Pepper was eyeing herself a raspberry bar too.

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