Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tasty Treat: Raspberry Shortbread Bars

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Five years ago, I was an unhappy cog in the machine that is Citigroup. Five years ago, I decided to stop being a cog and be happy and do things that make me happy and hopefully make me money. Five years ago I discovered Food & Wine magazine and, in the very first issue I bought, I discovered Raspberry Shortbread Bars. They are exactly what they sound like: a chewy, sweet and delicate cookie with a layer of raspberry jam in the middle.

When I first saw this recipe, I was intimidated and wondered how could I possibly make something that looks that good!! I read the recipe over and over again on the way to work and decided to seize the moment and move beyond my chocolate chip cookies repertoire. The results? I realized that the recipe is actually pretty simple since there is no rolling out of dough. I also realized that cooking makes me very happy. The first batch turned out so well, I made another and brought them into work and then to friends as I saw them throughout the week.

They were such a hit with one friend in particular that, years later while suffering from gestational diabetes, she asked if I would bring a fresh batch of Raspberry Shortbread Bars to the hospital after she gave birth. She wanted her first sugary treat to be these bars. Have I sold you yet? If you're in a baking rut and are looking for a recipe to brighten your day without driving you nuts, I highly recommend these. Enjoy!

Raspberry Shortbread Bars
Barely adapted after all these years from Food & Wine magazine
(Instead of rolling out the dough, use a large box grater. It's much easier and it adds a wonderful lightness to the bars.)

What You'll Need:

2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks Butter at room temperature
1 cup Sugar
2 large Egg Yolks
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Raspberry Jam (the best you have)

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium high until it's light and fluffy. Turn down the speed to low medium and beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Add the vanilla. Scrape down the sides. Turn down the speed to low and slowly add the flour. Once it's incorporated, turn out the dough and split it in two. Wrap up each piece in saran wrap and form into a ball. Refrigerate for a couple hours until hard.

Preheat the oven to 350 when you're ready to bake.

In a square brownie tin, fold in a large piece of parchment. No need to measure and cut it. You should be able to press the parchment down and then fold it at the corners so it fits. 

With a large grater, grate one of the dough balls evenly over the brownie pan. gently spread the dough out to the corners. Then dollop the jam evenly on top of the dough and spread it out with an icing spatula. Grate the other dough ball evenly overtop the jam. Pop in the oven and cook until it's golden brown. Around 30-40 minutes.
Approximate Cost:
Groceries: $8
Cost per Meal: Expect 25 bars.

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  1. These look terrific. And I love hearing about you giving up the corporate life. I just decided last week that I was ready to leave the wheel, too. In June, I will no longer be a cog, after many years of cogging! At least, in that particular wheel... it's scary, but so exciting, and inspiring to see that after 5 years, you're doing just fine! :)

  2. So...from cogging to blogging. Good move! And these look yummy and yes, not intimidating at all.

  3. These look sooo good. I love fruit bars. I have to say I think the best raspberry jam is Trader Joe's. I also like using Apricot.

  4. Oh, if one more baked yummy treat comes into my home in the next two weeks (I just ate a sheet of brownies), I am going to be 300 lbs. But these do look tempting...

  5. Thank you!

    Kare, if you decide the make the jump, good luck!! It isn't easy and sometimes I miss a regular paycheck. However, I love love love being my own boss!!!

    MyKidsEatSquid - I haven't tried the trader joe's brand, but will buy some since I used the last of my homemade jam on these bars!!

  6. Fantastic! I am going to bookmark these, you've tempted me :D
    *kisses* HH

  7. One of you wonderful readers was so kind as to tell me I forgot to add the amount of sugar to the recipe above!!! So sorry about that. I hope it didn't mess up anyone's cooking. It's all fixed now.


  8. Oooh, I'm gonna have to pick up some jam cause Frugal Man would LOVE these.

  9. I love fruity desserts, and these look delicious! Mr. Muse prefers chocolatey desserts; otherwise, I'd make these for him, but I bet these would be tasty for Mother's Day.

  10. These look incredible -- I am going to make them today. Thanks for posting this and your other yummy recipes.

    And thanks to MyKidsEatSquid for the Trader Joe's jam tip.

  11. These shortbread bars are sooo good. I made them with some homemade rhubarb and ginger jam and threw some orange zest in the shortbread.
    I love the tip of shredding the really does make it so light and crumbly.
    Even my husband who does not have a sweettooth at all commented on how good they were and went back for seconds. My photo isn't quite as beautiful as yours, but you can check it out, along with the rhubarb and ginger jam recipe here:

  12. Great, interesting post, Peggy. Recipe, as always, looks delicious -- and it's fun to hear about your past life as a cog.

  13. I made some of these up yesterday and they are YUMMY! Frugal Man was quite pleased. Now I need to put the rest in the freezer so we don't keep munching on them with all that butter.



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