Pies On Parade

Both a benefit for the local food pantry, Area Interfaith Outreach (AIO), and a festive mid-winter party, Pies on Parade has grown into a major event over the past several years.  Sold out a week ago at 600 tickets, it proves to be the event of the month for at least AIO if not Midcoast Maine.

This year, Rheal Day Spa (my favorite place ever) and I are partnering to make both Lemon Lavender Honey and Yogurt Pie and Cinnamon Raspberry Gallette from my cookbook Sugar and Salt.  Rhonda Nordstrom, spa owner extraordinaire, and I have shared tea a time or two as we plot and plan our menu and the details of cooking pies for 600 people out of a kitchen almost as small as the galley on the Riggin.

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Dawn’s Raspberry Squares

When E needs a little chocolate pick-me-up, this is one of the recipes she turns to.  I never knew.  Until last week.  The combination of buttery shortbread crust, tart raspberry jam, crisp almonds and rich chocolate is an unbeatable one.

Great, now I have another chocolate recipe to turn to as well.  Oh sigh, what’s another mile or two of running in the whole scheme of things?

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Dawn’s Raspberry Squares
This recipe is inspired by Dawn, a former schooner chef, who got it from the Brown Bag a long while ago.  This is my own iteration of this deliciousness.

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup raspberry jam
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.  In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together and then add the egg.  Mix until well incorporated.  Add the flour and mix using your fingers until the dough is a coarse crumble.  Transfer 2/3rds of the dough to the pan and press flat with your fingers.  Spread the jam evenly over the dough and then sprinkle the remaining dough over top of the jam.  Layer with the chocolate chips and then almonds.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Cool in the pan and lift out before cutting.

Makes 24 squares

Annie
You’ll be happy you tried them