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RASPBERRY LINZERTORTE BARS HARK BACK TO GENTLER TIMES

Question: We visited Seattle for the first time in August 1993 and went to Vashon Island to see a friend. On the way we stopped at the tiny Sound Food Restaurant and got some Raspberry Bars. I'd love the recipe if you could get it.

- Lindsay Roberts,Fresno, Calif.

Answer: Some folks might say the pace on Washington's Vashon Island is slow. Thirty years ago a bicycle was left propped by a sapling at the edge of the woods. The sapling's branches, seeking the sun, grew up and out, thickening into stout limbs that surrounded and swallowed the bicycle. Parts of the bicycle still protrude from the tree.

Midway between Tacoma and Seattle in the middle of Puget Sound is Vashon Island, a 37-square-mile piece of Washington state formerly occupied by Shomamish Indians. A 15-minute ferry ride separates the mainland from the island and seems to insulate islanders from worldly cares. Miles of thick forest and beach showcase nature's beauty, while exuding a peaceful solitude. Enjoy the small-town atmosphere, meander down a quiet country road, pier fish, sail, picnic, bicycle or hunt for souvenirs. Islanders still pick their own strawberries and raspberries during the summer months.

Sound Food's Linzertorte Bars are a favorite with locals, who enjoy a variety of seasonal toppings that include blackberry, strawberry and raspberry jams. Experiment by substituting your favorite flavor - even rhubarb will work!

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RECIPES

RASPBERRY LINZERTORTE BARS

9 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon cloves

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 pounds, 4 ounces butter

3 cups sugar

3 tablespoons grated orange peel

2 tablespoons vanilla

3 cups chopped walnuts

5 cups raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl combine flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside. In large bowl of mixer, cream butter and sugar, add orange peel and vanilla and beat just until blended. Add flour mixture and beat to blend. Stir in 11/2 cups walnuts. Press dough into a sided sheet pan. Pierce dough with fork. Bake on top rack of oven 30 to 40 minutes or until cookie crust is firm. Remove from heat and set aside.

Melt jam in saucepan over low heat. Spread warm jam over cookie crust and sprinkle with remaining walnuts. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until jam bubbles. Makes 3 dozen large bars.