Wednesday, October 12, 2011



Everyone loves these raspberry bars, they have an ultra-buttery shortbread crust topped with cooked raspberries and a streusel topping.They are very sweet, buttery, tender AND they cut nicely...perfect for gift giving (these will definitely be in my cookie gift boxes this Christmas). Yes, you heard me is never too early to start planning your holiday baking!!.

Raspberries grow well in Alaska, so if you are lucky enough to have some in the freezer, this is a wonderful recipe for them; I'm not so lucky, so I used a 12 ounce bag of frozen raspberries.

Put the berries (no need to thaw) in a heavy saucepan with ¼ cup of water and one cup of white sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium high and simmer the berries until they thick (I turned mine down to a medium low heat and simmered them for about 15 minutes). Set aside to cool (they will thicken even more as they cool).
21 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled to room temp.
This seems like a lot of butter, but it makes an upper and lower crust
¾ cup of white sugar
2 large egg yolks
3 cups + 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
No need to use an electric mixer, I did it all with a wooden spoon. Mix the sugar into the melted butter and whisk in the egg yolks. Stir in the flour to make a very stiff dough. Remove two cups of this dough and pat evenly into a foil lined 9 x 13 pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or put in freezer for 7 minutes). Set the rest of the dough aside.

Bake the 9 x 13 chilled pan of dough, on the middle rack of your oven, for 20 minutes at 325.
After 20 minutes, the dough will still be very pale in color and will not have any golden color on the edges. Remove it from the oven and spread the cooled raspberry filling evenly over it.

To the reserved shortbread dough that you set aside, add ¼ cup of granulated sugar and use a fork to break up the dough into crumbs (I use my pastry cutter).
Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the raspberry layer. Bake on the TOP rack of a 350 oven for 25 minutes (mine took 32 minutes). Watch the crumbles towards the end of the baking time so they don't get dark. 

Cool baked bars on a wire rack for at least an hour or until completely firm. You can speed set them in the fridge. When the bottom of the pan is completely cool, lift the bars out of the pan by pulling on the flap ends of the foil. Cut into 2" bars. These will keep at room temperature for a week.

 NOTE: The butter measurement of 21 tablespoons is not a typing error
NOTE: Line  your 9" x 13" baking pan with foil and leave the ends of the foil a little long, so you can use them as handles to lift the cooled bars out of the pan. You don't have to grease the bottom of the pan because there's so much butter in the shortbread, but DO spray the sides of the pan/foil with cooking spray so the jam doesn't stick to the sides.

Pay attention to baking temperatures. The first crust pre-bake is on the middle rack at 325. The final bake is on the TOP rack at 350. The recipe says it is baked on the top rack so that the bottom of the crust doesn't get too dark.

NOTE: If you want to take a shortcut, I am fairly certain you can just use raspberry jam instead of cooking the berries. I have not tried it this way, but I don't know why it wouldn't work (although I'm fairly certain that the cooked berries taste "brighter".
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