Monday, July 9, 2012

Raspberry Bars

My husband is awesome. He's been working so hard to help me fix up our home this summer. Remember how we've been painting the downstairs of our house? Well, in a fit of insomnia my husband did the entire second coat by himself the other night. It looks lovely in here.

One good turn deserves another. He loves sweets, especially raspberry things. Recently I came across a simple recipe for skillet raspberry bars! They look easy and incredible, and I happen to have some raspberry jam in the fridge. The only problem is that I don't have two cast iron skillets. Actually, I don't have any cast iron cookware. I wonder, can I do this in the oven instead?

My older son is on the bus to summer program, the toddler and the husband are still asleep, COOKING EXPERIMENT TIME!

Here are the ingredients from the original recipe:
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, very soft
1 cup or a bit more raspberry jam

If you've been reading my blog a while, you'll remember that I don't keep brown sugar around, because by the time I need it, it's a brick. Instead I beat together white sugar and molasses as I need it.

So that's what I did.

It's easy as anything with the KitchenAid. It starts out sort of grainy, but just ignore it of a minute or two, and you'll come back to this.

Next, I added the flours, oats, salt, and baking soda. I opted out of the cinnamon, as I am not in a cinnamon-y mood.

The dry ingredients mix together really quickly, including the brown sugar. Next, in a bowl I beat together the egg and softened butter...

...then mixed that with the dry ingredients into this nice crumbly, slightly sticky mixture.

Since I lack the cast iron skillets suggested in the original recipe, I simply sprayed and floured an 8" x 8" baking pan...

...then pressed in half of the mixture.

I added about a cup of raspberry jam on top of this layer. This is not as easy as it sounds. My jam had been in the fridge and didn't spread well. In a few places I was in danger of accidentally tearing up that bottom crust layer, so I didn't think to stop and take photos. Next time, I'll let the jam warm up, then beat it a bit by hand to thin it. Lesson learned. Here's a picture of the jar instead.

The other half of the crumb mixture goes on top.

I decided to bake this at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. At the end, it pretty much looks exactly like it started, only just a bit more brown on the edges and with a couple of tiny spots of jam boiling up from inside.

After they cooled, I cut them into small squares. I was afraid that this was going to fall apart, but both crusts are actually nice and crispy! They are sort of like a delicious, jammy granola bar!

There's no way these are going to last.

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  1. As soon as it cools down outside enough that the thought of turning on the oven doesn't make me cringe, I will definitely be making these. They look fabulous!

    1. I made these around 8 this morning, so I beat the heat. The problem with making them so early is that they clearly will not last until lunch time. :)