Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Raspberry Pecan Streusel Bars

At our 24 watching party last night, guests noshed on eggplant dip, Trader Joe's style "Doritos", salsa, and raspberry pecan streusel bars. This hodge podge was a combination of leftovers from our Mid East feast dinner (falafel, "baba ghanoush", pita, & salad) and my recent adventures into low-glycemic baking.

Even though this final season of Jack Bauer-antics has been a thorough disappointment, these tasty South Beach friendly treats delivered big flavor. The combination of lemon and raspberry balances the hearty, slightly sweet dough bursting with toasted pecans.

The use of whole wheat flour and agave nectar make this South Beach friendly. There is a bit of butter, so it would best be enjoyed as an occasional phase 2 or 3 treat. Choose a raspberry jam that is low-sugar or sweetened only with fruit juice.

I knew these were a hit when the husband refused to take the remaining bars to work so that he could have them all to himself. Greed is a good sign.

Raspberry Pecan Streusel Bars

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch salt
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/4 cup butter, diced
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup oil
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup raspberry jam
1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, pecans, lemon zest, salt, and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Using your fingers work the butter into the flour/pecan mixture. The butter/flour clumps should be pea-sized, so that the flour, butter, and pecans are well-combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, agave, egg yolk, and vanilla until well-combined.

Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir together. The dough will be crumbly, which is what you are looking for.

Stir the lemon juice and raspberry jam together to thoroughly combine.

In an ungreased 9x13 pan pat 2/3 of the dough into an even layer. Spread the jam over the bottom layer leaving a 1/4 inch border. Sprinkle the rest of the dough on top- don't worry if the pieces don't touch.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Check near the end as whole wheat flour browns (burns) much quicker than white flour.

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