Monday, September 14, 2009

Raspberry Bars

Beware! If you make these bars, you may want to hide them from your family and friends. They are so good, it's hard to eat just one. I speak from personal experience.

1st and 3rd layer:
2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks real butter, softened and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or salted, might want to withdraw extra salt then)
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
13x9x2 pan, line with doubled foil, along bottom and up sides. Spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl: mix flour, granulated sugar, and salt (if using unsalted butter). Using an electric mixer, beat in butter 3-4 pieces at a time. Mix until well combined and batter looks like wet sand. Take 1 1/4 cups of the flour mixture and place in a medium bowl. Set bowl aside.

Evenly press remaining flour mixture into bottom of the prepared pan. Press down with the bottom of a measuring cup or use your hands. Bake about 20 minutes or until lightly browned at the edges.
While the bottom crust bakes, take reserved flour mixture and mix in the oats and brown sugar. Add the 2 Tbsp. butter, and using your fingers, or a fork, work the mixture until it is combined and starts to stick together, set aside.
2nd layer:
3/4 cup red raspberry preserves
3/4 cup fresh raspberries (or frozen berries, thaw and make sure to drain, make sure equals 3/4 cup)
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (or bottled)
In a small bowl, combine raspberry preserves, berries, and lemon juice. Mash lightly with a fork as you mix. Spread the mixture over the hot crust. Ok, you caught me. I sprinkled just a bit more fresh raspberries over the preserves too. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. Make sure to not press oat mixture into berries. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown and the filling is bubby.

Remove pan to wire rack. Once bars are completely cool, remove from pan, by pulling on foil at opposite ends and lifting up, place on wire rack. Peel the foil away from the bars, be very careful, you may have to use a knife to help it along. Cut into 20-24 pieces and enjoy! Store in closed container at room temperature.


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