Fresh Raspberry Bars

fresh raspberry bars
I LOOOOVE raspberries! They are one of my favorite things to eat and definitely my favorite berry, so when I saw the gorgeous pictures of these in my Better Homes and Gardens magazines I knew I would get around to making them. Mike's birthday presented the perfect occasion and they received rave reviews from everyone. They are SO good and super easy to make too.
(view the pretty step by step pictures from BHG here)

recipe by Scott Peacock
* 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) cut into 1-inch chunks
* 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
* 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
* Softened butter (for brushing sides of foil)
* 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam or preserves
* 1 pint (2 cups) fresh raspberries
* 1/2 of an 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
* 4 oz. goat cheese or 4 oz. cream cheese (I used all cream cheese)
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1 large egg
* 1 large egg yolk
* 2 Tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel (zest)
* 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
* Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with a 24-inch-long sheet of aluminum foil, leaving extra foil extending over ends (use these later to lift bars from pan); set aside. In a large bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until it just begins to blend and soften slightly, about 30 seconds.

2. Add brown sugar and salt, beat on low speed until incorporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute. You're not trying to cream it, you're just mixing it in, Scott says. With mixer off, add the 2 cups flour. Beat on low speed until flour is incorporated. Increase speed to medium, mix until ingredients form an even, cohesive dough. "People tend to undermix shortbread, which makes it too crumbly," Scott says. "It's tough to overmix because of the amount of butter we use."

3. Break dough into small chunks and distribute in prepared pan; with your fingers press dough into an even layer. Bake 20 minutes or until dough has begun to puff and is just set. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes.

4. Lightly brush exposed sides of foil with softened butter to keep filling from sticking. Spread jam evenly over crust.

5. Sprinkle evenly with raspberries.

6. With a lemon zester, remove peel from lemon, making sure to avoid bitter white pith. "For the most flavor, you want to do this right before baking," Scott says.

7. In a large bowl beat cream cheese and goat cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Mix in granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon flour until blended. With mixer running, add egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

8. Pour custard batter evenly over berries. Tilt pan back and forth to distribute evenly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until barely set. Transfer to a wire rack until completely cool, about 1 hour; cover and transfer to refrigerator. Chill 2 hours. Top will crack slightly as it cools.

9. Use foil to lift the bars from pan. With a knife or metal spatula, support the sides of the bars while you gently peel the foil downward and away from sides of the bars.

10. Cut into long bars, peel foil from bottom, and transfer to cutting boars using side of a long knife or spatula. "Cutting first on the foil results in cleaner edges," Scott says. Cut into 24 squares
Sprinkle very lightly with powdered sugar. "It's much more interesting with just the rumor of sugar on top," Scott says. Makes 24 bars.


Shari said...

These look amazing! I too love raspberries! :)

Shari said...

Featuring this recipe on my Foodie Friday post today! Should be up in a bit! :)