Sweet talk with Hi Rise Bakery's Sammy Marquez

Boy, are our cheeks pink. Turns out that our guy in Paramus can only lay claim to the bagel and some pastry recipes baked at Hi Rise, 2162 Larimer Street. Head baker Sammy Marquez is the on-site, flesh-and-blood man behind many of the sweets, including several that we featured on last week's Sugar High post.

Though a Colorado native, Marquez completed his culinary schooling and training in New York, which accounts for much of the East Coast influence on the pastries lining the case. "Walking into a pastry shop in Brooklyn, New York, is nothing like walking into one here in Denver," he says. "The selection, variety and quality far outshines just about everything I've seen here in my home state. I want to change all of that and do some things that are very common on the East Coast, yet very difficult to find here."

Doug Anderson, the owner of Hi Rise, says that when he was looking for a head baker, he used candidates' shortbread as the litmus test. Marquez was the one who blew him away, and for good reason: The raspberry shortbread bars are one of the things Marquez is most proud of, and we were lucky enough to get a peek at the recipe responsible for so much gushing. It's yours, after the jump.

Sammy Marquez's Raspberry Bars, Hi Rise Bakery

Short Dough: 1 lb butter 6 oz granulated sugar 4 eggs 24 oz all purpose flour

In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and blended. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl well after each addition. If the butter/egg mixture looks curdled at this point, don't worry; the flour will bring it together. Add flour all at once and mix just until blended.

For raspberry bars, press half of the freshly made dough into a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Wrap remaining dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (preferably an hour) before rolling out and cutting into 1 inch strips. Let the baked crust cool at least 30 minutes before spreading with raspberry preserves. Spread the preserves evenly on the baked crust. You want a nice layer--not too thin, but certainly not too thick (too much, and the preserves will create a mess when you cut them into bars). Place lattice strips diagonally across the preserves, starting with the longest distance first. When you have the first layer in place, repeat the process for a crisscross pattern. Place back in the oven and back another 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

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