Wine and Unwind — Raspberry Almond Bars

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I love this picture of James’ prop preset list — it’s American history boiled down into just a few, iconic things.  Puts it all into perspective one can grasp, doesn’t it?  (I also love that James laminates his preset list and physically checks off each item EVERY NIGHT.   Young stage managers take note and learn from a master!)

“All the Way” is winding down — last chance to see it is Sunday, June 29 so get your tickets now (if you can!)

For last week’s Wine and Unwind, James made one of my personal favorites — Raspberry-White Chocolate Almond Bars.  They manage to be decadent AND chocolate-free (it’s almost unimaginable that such a thing is possible.)  But their creamy sweetness is perfectly offset by the notes of raspberry and almond.  And the nutty crunch is exactly right — ooh, I may just have to make a batch right now!

 

Raspberry Almond Bars 2

Raspberry-White Chocolate Almond Bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 package (10 – 12oz) white chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
*1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup sliced almonds

*For a gluten-free option, substitute the following for the 1 cup of all-purpose flour:
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Method:

1.  In medium saucepan, melt butter.  Remove from heat and add 1 cup of chips.  DO NOT STIR.

2.  In a small bowl, beat eggs until foamy.  Gradually add sugar.  Stir in almond extract and gently add butter/chip mixture.

3.  Combine flour and salt.  Add to egg mixture and stir just until combined.  Spread half of mixture in a greased, 9″ x 9″ pan.  Bake at 325* for 15 – 20 minutes (if you are making the gluten-free option, you may need to bake it longer.)

4.  While the crust is baking, heat jam in a small saucepan over low heat.  Spread jam over finished crust.  Stir remaining chips into batter and drop by tablespoons over jam layer.  Sprinkle with slice almonds and bake for 30 – 35 more minutes (again, you might need to bake it longer for the gluten-free version.)  You’ll know it’s ready when you stick a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean.

5.  Cool on wire rack.  Wait to cut into bars until completely cool, otherwise it will fall to pieces and you’ll just have to shovel it all up with a fork.  Oops.

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