July 19, 2011
Our raspberry bushes haven't been giving us quite as many berries the past few days as they had been, but we're still getting plenty. I had a lot I had to use up over the weekend, so I decided to do some baking. I looked at some recipes for ideas but didn't find any that really struck my taste, so I ended up coming up with my own recipe for Chewy Raspberry Bars.
These bars turned out great. Juli says they might be the best fruit bars she's ever had. They were quite popular at my work as well. They are pretty fast easy to make, and don't take much time, unless you count time they just cook in the oven. If you try them out, I think you'll find that the great flavor you get for so little time and effort makes these bars a real winner.
Chewy Raspberry Bars
yield = 18 or 36 bars
3 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 cups granulated (white) sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup sweetened flake coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick baking spray.
Combine raspberries, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup oatmeal, cornstarch, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside to cool until it is only slightly warm.
In a stand mixer or mixing bowl with hand mixer, cream together the brown sugar and butter.
Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups oatmeal, flour, coconut and cinnamon in a medium bowl and stir to mix thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients to the brown sugar/butter combination and mix to make crumbs.
Press 2/3 of the crumb mixture in the bottom of the baking pan. Spread the raspberry mixture across the bottom layer, then sprinkle evenly with the remaining crumb mixture.
Bake until the topping is golden brown and the raspberry mixture is bubbling near the center of the pan, about 40 minutes.
Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely (one hour, at least). Slice and serve the bars by themselves, or warm slightly and serve with ice cream.