Summer is officially here! Raspberry Bars are the perfect gooey summer treat! This is another bakery inspired recipe that I couldn’t wait to make. Aldi has raspberries on sale right now and they carry a Simply Nature raspberry preserves that is excellent! Of course, you can use an raspberry preserves that you like. I found it handy to have it all in one place and no fake colors or preservatives.
In other news…. my Crisis Intervention class is underway. I didn’t choose the class to take – the school chose it for me because I just started at Missouri Baptist and do not have any pre-requisite courses done yet. But boy, it is complete relevant to today! The COVID-19 crisis, schools closed and the riots around the country are three major crises going on right how. My professor helped Joplin during the Joplin, Missouri tornado crisis and had some really interesting information. So, it is a medium sized town… a population of 50,000 people. When volunteers showed up to help – whether they were invited to come or just showed up – there were 500,000 volunteers! I know it sounds awesome, right? But as many of you know this creates another huge problem. Those people that need help and lost their homes had no place to stay. All of the hotels within a 100 mile radius were full of volunteers. He also mentioned that so much water came that they couldn’t use the extra 1 million water bottles. He didn’t say what happened to the bottles other than 1 million of them couldn’t be used. It was just too much.
I learned a TON in my FEMA training, too. Which I will not bore you with other than if you think that there are too many acronyms in government… well you aren’t too far off. I’m swimming in FEMA acronyms. They do awesome work and the courses were great. Soooooo many acronyms!
Back to the raspberry bars!! Be prepared to keep these cold. They taste better cold in my opinion anyway. Stash in a cooler for travel or in your fridge at home. They are NOT overly sweet and slightly tart because I don’t like sickly sweet desserts. They make a great picnic snack or dessert at the end of the day. We ate some after our 5.3 mile hike one morning.
So go out there and bake some bars! Happy Summer!
- 1/2 cup butter, unsalted melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup flour (125 g) all-purpose
- 3/4 cup raspberry preserves (or blueberry, apricot, etc.)
- 15 fresh raspberries (about 1/2 pint)
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice powder or 1 tsp. lemon zest optional
- 1/4 cup flour all purpose
- 4 T cold butter or 2T butter and 2T plan Greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a 7x11, 8x8 or 9x9 pan with cooking spray. Add a parchment sling to the pan. The sides should hang over by an inch or two.
- In a great big bowl: mix all of the crust ingredients together. Press those down into the pan. Spread with a offset metal spatula or a regular spatula. If the dough sticks a lot, spray the spatula with cooking spray to keep it from sticking. Bake 15 minutes.
- While that bakes, make the topping. In the same great big bowl, add the oats, brown sugar, lemon powder or zest (optional) and flour. Mix together! Then, cut up the cold butter into small chunks and add those to the oat mix. It should be crumbly throughout.
- After removing bar crust, turn the oven up to 350.
- Spread out the preserves with the offset spatula. Sprinkle fresh raspberries throughout. Sprinkle the topping on top.
- Bake another 30-40 minutes. The edges will bubble and the topping will be light golden brown.
- Cool for about 30 minutes. Then, cover and put into the fridge for 2 hours or more. Now you can lift the bars out of the pan using the sling, cut and eat!