Tag Archives: streusel

Twelve (More) Days of Christmas Cookies: Raspberry Crumb Bars

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DAY 1: Welcome to the Second Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies! This year, I have twelve new cookie recipes to share, starting with this recipe for Raspberry Crumb Bars. They are a shortbread based cookie, which makes them pretty crumbly to eat, but I love the combination of raspberries and nuts. For the raspberry filling, I used a combination of homemade Red Raspberry and Black Raspberry Jams that I canned last summer.

8-15-10 (9)-1The original recipe, from Family Fun magazine (printed below with a few adjustments), is baked in a 9” square pan, but I doubled the recipe and baked them in a rimmed 17×12” baking pan.8-15-10 (31)-1

Visit: First Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies for a recap of the cookies from last year.


Raspberry Crumb Bars

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1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch square pan with butter or cooking spray. (**See Note below for using larger baking pan)

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in vanilla. Add the flour and salt and beat just until the flour is incorporated. The dough will be crumbly. Press about two-thirds of the dough into the greased pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.

While the shortbread cools slightly, mix the oats and nuts into the remaining one-third of the dough. The mixture will be very crumbly; it is easier to use your hands to mix the topping.

Spread the raspberry jam on the shortbread, then evenly cover the jam with the crumb topping. (TIP: for easy jam spreading, heat the jam slightly in the microwave; stir and pour over crust.)

Bake the bars for 20-25 mins, or until the topping is golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack for about 15-20 minutes. While the shortbread is still slightly warm, cut it into 16 squares, then cut each square in half diagonally. Once the triangles cool completely (they are very fragile while warm), lift them from the pan with a metal spatula.

Makes 32 triangles.

**NOTE: I doubled the recipe and baked them in a 17×12” rimmed baking sheet for 7-8 minutes for the crust, and then the whole bars for about 18 minutes. Using this sized pan makes for slightly thinner bars than the original recipe, which I liked. Yield: about 70 triangles.

Recipe adapted from Family Fun magazine




Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Thanksgiving Dessert: Caramel Apple Cheesecake Tart with Streusel Topping

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A combination of so many things that I love: apples, cinnamon, cheesecake, caramel (I used homemade Dulce de Leche, or try this Caramel Sauce), and a buttery, slightly sweet oat topping. A perfect end to a Thanksgiving meal- a perfect end to just about any meal!

The recipe is long, but not complicated. While there are a lot of ingredients, each layer is easy to put together. Just make sure you have all of your layers ready to go before putting things into the pan.

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For a more pronounced caramel flavor, you could drizzle individual servings with additional caramel sauce at serving time.

I used a Cream Cheese Pastry recipe for the crust, but you could also use any basic pie crust. I bake this in a tart pan (mine has an 11” diameter). You could also use a deep dish pie pan, but you might want to reduce the amount of streusel topping and increase the baking time to make sure cheesecake layer sets.

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Cheesecake layer on the bottom.

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A caramel apple filling made with apples, brown sugar, dulce de leche or caramel sauce, and cinnamon. Use a spoon to gently and evenly distribute apples over the cheesecake filling. Try to not mix the two layers together.111010 057-1

A chunky streusel topping with a nutty oat flavor gets sprinkled over the apples.111010 058-1

Cover edges of tart with a pie crust shield. I do not own one that fits my tart pan, so I make my own out of foil. See How To…Make Your Own Pie Crust Shield. Since the tart pan has steeper sides than a regular pie plate, when you are tracing the circle to cut out, be sure to cut a circle that is about 1/2” smaller than the outside edge of the tart pan. 111010 068-1

Bake until center is set (it will still jiggle just a little in the center, but will continue to set as it cools) and streusel is golden brown. I leave the foil on for all but the last 5 minutes of baking time.  111010 073-1

The hardest part: keeping little fingers (and a few big ones) from picking at the streusel topping while the tart cools completely.

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Caramel Apple Cheesecake Tart

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Cream Cheese Pastry Crust:
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz (½ pkg) cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs powdered sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ cups flour (divided)

In a food processor, combine butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and salt. Process until smooth. Add ½ cup flour. Pulse just until flour is incorporated (do not overmix). Repeat with another ½ cup flour. Scrape dough from sides of bowl and repeat with the last ½ cup flour.

On a floured surface, flatten dough into a ½” thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes, or until firm enough to roll. Dough can also be frozen for later use.

Cheesecake Layer:
12 oz (1 ½ pkg) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth with a mixer.

Apple Layer:
4 cups peeled and sliced apples (about 3-4 apples)
½ cup Dulce de Leche or Caramel Sauce
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp ClearJel or cornstarch
½ tsp cinnamon
scant 1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt

Combine all ingredients.

Streusel Topping:
6 Tbs butter, melted
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
2 Tbs brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt

Combine all ingredients. Mix until crumbly.


Preheat oven to 400°F. Move oven rack to lowest level.

Remove pastry dough from refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a circle 1” larger than a 10-11” tart pan. Transfer to ungreased tart pan. Crimp edges, if desired.

Pour cheesecake filling into crust. Carefully top with apple layer. Sprinkle with streusel topping.

Cover edges of tart with a pie crust shield or aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes on lowest rack of oven. Reduce heat to 375°F, move tart to center rack, and bake for 15-25 additional minutes, or until just the very center (not the edges) jiggles when shaken lightly. Cover entire tart with foil if streusel begins to brown too much. Cool completely on a wire rack.

NOTE: This can be made into bars by cooking in a rectangular baking pan (put crust on bottom of the pan only, not up the sides). A 7×11” pan will give you about the same thickness as the tart, or use a 9×13” pan for slightly thinner bars.



Filed under Desserts

Apple Zucchini Muffins with Maple Streusel Topping


I love apple season and the smell of warm baking apples and cinnamon, in all of their varieties: apple pies, apple crisps, apple butter, and now apple muffins. These muffins also have a little bit of summer thrown in, in the form of  some shredded zucchini frozen from our summer harvest.

DSC02037This is a pretty simple muffin recipe to throw together and it leaves your house with that wonderful smell of fall baking for the rest of the day!

Start with peeling an apple and finely chopping it. Also shred your zucchini. Set aside.

Combine your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.

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Mix two beaten eggs with maple syrup (not pancake syrup, but REAL 100% maple syrup), melted butter, vanilla, and maple extract. Stir in zucchini and apples.


Prepare Maple Streusel Topping: Stir together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. With a fork, mix in maple syrup and maple extract, and then butter. Mix until crumbly.DSC02057

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Add nuts, if using.

Spoon batter into muffin tins, either lined with paper liners or sprayed with baking spray. Fill each cup about ¾ of the way to the top. Sprinkle with streusel topping. I ended up with a little bit more of the topping than I had muffins.


Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. This recipe makes about 15-18 muffins.




Apple Zucchini Muffins with Maple Streusel Topping


2 ½ cups flour
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten slightly
½ cup maple syrup (use 100% pure maple syrup)
½ cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp maple extract
1 cup peeled, finely chopped apple (about 1 medium apple)
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Streusel Topping:
1 cup flour
2 Tbs brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
3 Tbs maple syrup
¼ tsp maple extract
3 Tbs butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tins with paper liners, or spray with baking spray.

Combine flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, maple syrup, melted butter, vanilla, and maple extract. Peel and chop apple; shred zucchini. Stir into egg mixture.

Prepare Streusel Topping: Stir together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. With a fork, stir in maple syrup and extract. Stir in butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

Stir together wet and dry ingredients (not topping) just until moistened. Add nuts, if desired.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans. Top each muffin with 1-2 Tbs streusel topping, crumbling the topping with your fingers. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Yield: 15-18 muffins



Filed under Breads, Breakfast/Brunch