Tuesday, December 16, 2014

no holds bar

I know there are so many gift-giving baking idea's floating around on other blogs, Pinterest, the Food Network... but these Chunky Raspberry Bars have to be one of the easiest to put together. There's no intricate decorating of cookies or cupcakes, instead you're just basically smashing the dough into a pan and going for that "rustic" look. It works here, trust me.

The dough is really more of a shortbread packed with oats, coconut and almonds... oh and some raspberry jam to give it a festive flair. But of course you could swap out the raspberry jam for your favorite flavor, say peach or strawberry. Once the bars are cooled, they're dense and hold up wonderfully in a (gift) box. 

When these bars are completely cooled, they cut nice and clean (which can't be said for brownies). They also hold up for a few days, so you have some time to eat them give them away. Are you ready to make them yet?

Chunky Raspberry Jam Bars
Makes 24 bars

Recipe Notes-
- I cut this recipe out of a magazine many years ago, so I’m not 100% sure where it came from, but I have a hunch it was from the Kraft magazine.
- The recipe originally had chocolate in it and (gasp!) I’m not really big on chocolate and fruit flavors, so I omitted it. I also subbed out the pecans for almonds (I just think almonds and raspberries love each other) and added some salt.
- For the oats I used old-fashioned but you can also use quick-cooking oats here.

1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
1 Cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ Cups oats
½ Cup shredded coconut
½ Cup slivered almonds

1 Jar (12 oz.) Raspberry jam (or your favorite flavor jam)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9x13” baking dish.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Add the oats, coconut and almonds; mix well.
4. Press two-thirds of the crumb mixture firmly onto the bottom of the baking pan. Spread the jam evenly over the crumb mixture and sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the jam.  

5. Bake for 26-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

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