Sunday, October 3, 2010

Red Raspberry Chocolate Bars

I was searching for a quick and easy recipe using one of my favorite combinations the other day and came across this one. I love raspberry and chocolate and this bar cookie can really be made in no time.
The shortbread type of crust makes a delicious base and using a good quality jam ( I used Smucker's) is important since that's the dominant flavor. I didn't put in the nuts but next time? Yes!
I halved the recipe, using an 8" square pan, but next time I'm making the full version. I'll also use a better quality chocolate, rather than just Toll House semisweet chocolate chips, I think a good quality Belgian chocolate would really be indulgent!

To begin, stir flour, sugar, nuts, ( if using), and butter in a medium bowl. I started with a fork, then switched to using my fingers. You could use a pastry knife. too.

Once that's crumbly, add the egg and stir in with a fork til nicely moist.

Reserve 2 cups of the mixture, then dump the remaining mixture into your prepared pan and press evenly.

Spread the jam over top, keeping the jam within 1/2" from the edge. Then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the jam.
Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture over this and bake. That's it!
I allowed it to cool completely, then placed into the fridge to chill more before cutting into squares. You may need to loosen the jam from the sides before cutting as it tends to stick to the pan.

Red Raspberry Chocolate Bars

2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts ( optional)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 jar ( 12 oz.) red raspberry jam ( I used seedless)
1 2/3 cup chocolate chips ( I used semisweet)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 13" x 9" pan.
1. In a medium bowl, stir flour, sugar, nuts ( if using), and butter til crumbly. ( I used my fingers ).
2. Add the egg and stir with a fork til moist and crumbly.
3. Set aside 2 cups of the mixture ( for topping).
4. Place remaining mixture into your prepared pan and press evenly onto the bottom.
5. Spread jam over this mixture, (keeping the jam within 1/2" from the edge to prevent it from spreading and sticking too much at the sides when baked), then sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
6. Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture over the chips.
7. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or til light brown on top.
8. Cool completely, then transfer to the refridgerator to chill to make cutting easier.

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