There is something so classic about these crumb squares. Perhaps it’s that they are made entirely of “crumble,” that buttery mix so sought over in slices of coffee cake or apple crisp. See, unlike in those confections, in these the crumble takes over all parts of the sweet. Not only is the top–which looks like crumble–made of crumble, but the base is too, just it’s pressed in a little more tightly there, providing a fine foundation for raspberry jam.
Or perhaps it’s that they please every kind of sweets addict–the friend who loves fruity desserts, the mom who only likes chocolate, and the sister who doesn’t want anything trendy. They seem to have an appeal that must be like gingersnaps‘: that while they’re not necessarily what anyone would order from a menu, when faced with them, there’s little to do but enjoy them thoroughly, bite by bite.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Raspberry Crumb Squares
Makes about 50 squares
Adapted from The Dessert Bible by Christopher Kimball
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons quick-cooking oatmeal
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped
2 1/4 sticks (18 tablespoons) softened butter
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking pan well and line it with parchment going up the sides about an inch (no need to be precise).
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and almonds well. Beat in the softened butter with an electric mixer or by hand, and continue to beat until the mixture is completely combined and very creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
Press two-thirds of the mixture into the pan and press evenly into the bottom. Using slightly damp hands can allow you to press it in without making a total mess.
Spread the jam on top of the dough, avoiding the very edges. Sprinkle the remaining mixture on top, keeping it crumbly.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden and firm. Cool completely, then refrigerate fro 30 minutes before removing from the pan using the parchment, and cutting into 1 1/2-inch squares.