Originally published on Food and Fond Memories on December 30, 2012 by sandyaxelrod Leave a Comment (Edit)

A square gold colored plate with two berry bars

Berry Bars

With over 160 dairy-free recipes you can find everything from traditional to trendy baked goods to enjoy after any meal. For those of you who keep a kosher home there is finally a cook book with amazing recipes for breads and cakes and cookies that are parve and can be served with meat or dairy dishes. The Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer is just that book. I wish I had these recipes when I was still catering!
Many times in our seventeen years in the catering business we would cater a “bar” or “bat” mitzvah in a synagogue. We were under strict supervision at all times to make sure we were keeping kosher. For us it was not a problem because we were very careful to be observant of the laws of kashruth while cooking in a Temple’s kosher kitchen. The real difficulty was in the menu planning. While preparing kosher hors d’oeuvre, appetizers and entrees was no more difficult that preparing non-kosher ones; desserts were another story. We did not want to serve something that just tasted “good for kosher”; we wanted all of our food to be yummy no matter what. If I had these luscious dessert recipes from Paula’s book back then my life would have been so much less stressful!
The Kosher Baker is divided into three sections Quick and Elegant Desserts, Two-Step Desserts and Multiple-Step Desserts and Breads. This gives us a choice of recipes to use based not only on our personal taste but our time constraints as well. There is even a fourth section on Passover and no sugar added desserts. And several recipes are also gluten-free.
One of my favorite pages in the book is “The Ten Commandments of Kosher Baking”. They begin very seriously with “Only parve desserts, those not containing dairy, can be served following a meat meal”. And end delightfully with the tenth commandment “All desserts shall be worth the calories and so delicious you’ll be content to eat only one piece”. That gives you a little insight into just how delicious Paula’s recipes are.
I feel that The Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer is a must own cook book for any kosher home, but anyone who bakes would benefit from these delectable recipes.

Berry Bars
Makes 35 square bars
This easy recipe turns classic bar cookies into handheld two-bite pies that can be easily packed into a picnic hamper.  They hold up well, perfect for an afternoon in the sun or an evening concert.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) parve margarine, frozen for 15 minutes, plus extra for
greasing pan and parchment
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh raspberries
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350ºf. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with some margarine. Place a piece of parchment in the pan that is large enough to go up the sides and hang over a few inches. Grease the top and sides of the parchment.
To make the crust: Place the flour and sugar into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process for 10 seconds. Cut the margarine into pieces and add to the bowl. Process or use your hands to mix for another 10 seconds. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and then process or mix until the dough just comes together.
Divide the dough in half, making one piece a little bigger. Wrap both pieces in plastic; flatten and place the smaller one in the freezer. Take the larger piece and break it into pieces and scatter over the parchment. Press the pieces into the pan as evenly as you can. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile place the raspberries and blueberries into a large bowl and squeeze with your hands to break up the raspberries.
Add the sugar and flour and squeeze together. This part is fun, but you may still want to use plastic gloves as I did.  Remove the other dough piece from the freezer and, using the large holes of a box grater, grate the remaining dough over the filling.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until the top starts to look golden brown. Let cool. Trim off about ¼ inch of the sides, if desired, and eat them immediately, and then cut into squares or long bars. Serve warm or cold.