Delicious desserts from Alex Hitz

Almond Raspberry White Chocolate Bars

Yield: One 9x13 pan, 28-32 finger desserts

Crust

2 sticks butter (16 tablespoons) salted butter, cold, and cut into small pieces, plus more for the baking pan

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9 x 13 metal baking pan.

To the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add all of the ingredients and mix it slowly until coarse crumbs form.

Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9x13 metal baking sheet, which is also known as a quarter sheet pan, and bake the crust for 25 minutes, until it is golden brown and completely cooked through. Remove it from oven and let it cool completely.

Topping

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sliced raw almonds

1 1/4 cups seedless raspberry jam

12 ounces white chocolate chips

1 1/4 cups seedless raspberry jam

Method

In a small mixing bowl, toss the salt and almonds together.

Spread the jam evenly over the cooled crust, then add the white chocolate chips, and top with the salted almonds.

Bake the bars for 20 minutes, remove them from the oven, and let them cool.

Luscious Lemon Ginger Squares

Yield: 2-3 dozen squares depending on the size you cut them.

Bake in 9 x 13-inch metal pan

Crust

2 sticks(16 tablespoons salted) butter, cold, plus more for baking pan

½ cup powdered sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

Additional butter for the baking pan

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9 x 13 metal baking pan.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together until they are light, approximately 5 minutes. Turn the mixture to the lowest speed and stir in the flour, ginger and salt until you have coarse crumbs.

Pour the crumbs into the buttered baking pan and press them down with your fingers to fully cover the pan. Bake the crust for 25 minutes until it is golden brown and cooked through. Let it cool.

Lemon Topping

6 large eggs

2 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

7 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Method

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the lemon juice, salt, and baking powder, and then whisk in the flour until it is thoroughly combined.

Pour the mixture over the pre-baked, cooled crust, and bake it for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is just set.

Priceless Pecan Bars

Yield: One 9x13 baking pan, or one quarter sheet pan

Crust

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) salted butter, cold plus more for the baking pan

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9x13 metal baking pan.

To make the crust in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together until they are light, approximately 5 minutes.

Turn the mixture to low and add the salt and the flour, mixing them until you have coarse crumbs.

Pour the crumbs into the prepared baking pan, and press them down with your fingers to cover the pan evenly.

Bake the crust for 20 minutes, until it is just brown, remove it from the oven, and let it cool completely.

Pecan Topping

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

1/2 teaspoon salt

Method

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, on medium speed beat the eggs and the sugar together until they are smooth, approximately 3-5 minutes.

Turn the mixer to the lowest speed, and add the salt, vanilla, and chopped pecans. Turn the mixer off.

Pour the pecan topping over the cooled crust and bake it for 20 minutes until it is just set.

Best-Ever Brownies

Yield: 28-32 brownies

Ingredients

8 ounces unsweetened chocolate

24 tablespoons salted butter

4 cups sugar

6 eggs

1 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 tablespoons plus 1/8 teaspoon salt

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9x13-inch metal baking pan.

In a double boiler over a low heat, melt the chocolate and the butter together.

Transfer the melted chocolate and butter to a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar until it is well combined. Then add the eggs, vanilla, flour, and salt until they are just combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake the brownies for 32-35 minutes. Do not over-bake them. They should be set, but still moving a tiny bit, and most seasoned brownie chefs would say that they are not quite done. They will be very soft, and very difficult to handle, but completely worth it.

Note: Be sure to mix these by hand, and not too much, as their texture will be gooier and fudgier the less uniform the batter is. I always do them ahead and freeze them and cut them when they are frozen as they are so much easier to handle.