Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Heavenly Raspberry Bars

Raspberry bars were a favorite when I was a teenager. They are so simple and easy to put together the kids can help out. I am posting two versions. One is close to the original raspberry bar I remember as I kid and the other, my sister sent to me, a healthier version (using less sugar and butter and adding wheat flour).

Source: Cook’s Illustrated
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, almonds, walnuts or a combination
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 12 pieces
1 cup raspberry preserves

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with foil, enough to come up the sides. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix flour, oats, sugars, soda, salt, and nuts at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer running at low speed, add butter pieces; continue to beat until mixture is well-blended and resembles wet sand, about 2 minutes.

Transfer 2/3 of mixture to prepared pan and use hands to press crumbs evenly into bottom. Bake until starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, spread preserves evenly over hot bottom crust; sprinkle remaining oat-nut mixture evenly over preserves. Bake until bubbly around edges and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes, rotating pan from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1½ hours, then remove from pan using foil as handles. Cut into 1¼- to 1½-inch squares and serve.

Healthified Raspberry Bars:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg white
3/4 cup raspberry fruit spread
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350°F. Line 8-inch square pan with foil. In large bowl, mix flours, sugar, butter and egg white with electric mixer on low speed until crumbly.
Reserve 1/2 cup crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture firmly in bottom of pan. Spread fruit spread to within 1/2 inch of edges. Sprinkle reserved 1/2 cup crumb mixture over top; sprinkle with walnuts.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until light golden brow