These bars. These bars! Now, I know that I say that every recipe that I share is wonderful…which, they are. I don’t share anything that we didn’t like with you guys. That being said, these bars are seriously one of the best things I’ve baked in my kitchen. Don’t wait to make them!
A thick, soft bed of shortbread topped with raspberry jam and a crumble topping made with of a bit of reserved shortbread, granola, and a generous dose of nuts. Takes all of 10 minutes to put together, how easy is that? Like you can expect anything less from Queen Ina.
There’s a backstory to these bars, though. Sea Star Cafe, my favorite local spot for lunch or a quick bite here on Chincoteague recently closed for the season. They make a bar that is very similar to this, in both a raspberry and apricot variety. And they’re addictingly delicious! I became a regular visitor…like, verging on the edge of daily, just to get these bars when they had them available. Since they close for a few months in the off-season, I had to find another source…
I’m an accomplished baker, I should be able to make a decent crumble bar, right? I’d tried a couple in the past, but they were lackluster attempts. This one is it!
I know I’ll be baking these once a week for a while, just to try different varieties of jam. They slice beautifully and keep for a few days too, making them great candidates for cookie trays or gifting!
Raspberry Crumble Bars
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
10 oz raspberry jam (I like Bonne Maman)
2/3 cup granola (without dried fruit)
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed just until combined. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla.
In a medium bowl whisk the flour and salt together. With the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter mixture, mixing until it almost comes together in a ball.
Turn the dough out on a board. Lightly pat two-thirds of the dough evenly on the bottom of a 8-inch square baking pan and about 1/4-inch up the sides. Spread with the jam, leaving a 1/4-inch border.
Mix the granola, walnuts and pecans into the remaining dough with your hands. Break the dough into small bits and distribute it on top of the jam, covering most of the surface. Sprinkle the almonds on top.
Bake the bars for 45 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool completely and cut into 9 or 12 bars. Store in airtight container.