Raspberry Streusel Bars

I tried this recipe on a whim a few months ago and it quickly became a fan favourite. I thought about why it would be loved so much. It comes down to its simplicity. In a world of rich chocolate cupcakes and caramelized chocolate chip cookies, this really sets itself apart. Plus it just tastes so good. The buttery shortbread, the bright raspberry jam and the chewy streusel topping make it a perfect dessert for anytime of the day, including breakfast.

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I like to use the food processor to whirl the shortbread base together. I like how quickly it turns into a dough. I often find a stand mixer takes too long and ends up working the flour too much which turns it into a tougher cookie base.

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You can decide how thin you want this to be depending on your pan size. I often want it thicker to I turn to a 9×9″ square pan but it will easily transform into a 9×13″ without any changes to the recipe.

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The jam is critical! Choose your favourite jam for this step because it really shines through. I have used a mixed berry jam as well and it was amazing.

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With the reserved shortbread dough you add in the streusel ingredients. You can quickly whir them up for about 10 seconds in the food processor to get the job done. I tend to just give it a quick mix in the bowl.

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The crust has been par-baked so the jam and streusel get added to the warm base. Your kitchen will smell so good once this hits the oven.

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I allow it to cool for a few hours so the shortbread firms up. This dessert actually improves as the days go on since its all about shortbread.

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I put it outside to cool a bit quicker because I had to get it cut up for a friend the same day. It was a rainy afternoon and it was just one of those perfect days to bake.

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Imagine sitting down to this plate with a cup of tea! The most lovely afternoon.

Raspberry Streusel Bars

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plus 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup raspberry jam

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×9 or 9×13 inch pan with butter and parchment paper. The bar in this blog post was a 9×9 inch pan.
  2. In a food processor combine the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse for 10 seconds, add in the 1 cup of butter and continue to pulse into a dough forms. You want the pieces to be roughly the size of hazelnuts.
  3. Press the dough into the prepared pan BUT reserve 1 1/4 cups of the crust and put it in a bowl.
  4. Bake the crust for about 8 minutes or until just before the edges begin to brown up. You will be baking it again and you still want the shortbread base to be tender.
  5. In a bowl, combine the remaining shortbread dough, 1/4 cup butter, oats and brown sugar. You can use a wooden spoon to bring the streusel topping together.
  6. Once you remove the crust from the oven, immediately spread the jam and sprinkle the streusel. Bake this for about 20 minutes or until the jam is bubbly and streusel is golden brown.
  7. Allow the bar to cool completely before cutting up. It will keep for about 3-5 days and just keeps getting better.

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