Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Raspberry Bars.

While so many are saying that summer is over and that Labor Day is the official end of summer; I disagree.  Late summer around here means making a third crop of hay and raspberries.  Pails and pails of raspberries.

My inlaws have a small raspberry patch and that thing gets loaded with berry each late summer.  It's kind of like a last blast of summer and will last up to a killing frost.  I was gifted a bucket of raspberries over the weekend and quickly turned some of them into raspberry pancakes the next morning.  And we've been eating them fresh.  Today was the day I needed to freeze them before they went bad....but before I froze them all I whipped up these Raspberry Bars so that my husband and daughter would have a treat when I was away for a couple hours tonight.

These bars are a perfect mix of sweet and tart.  They are easy to make, but hard to resist during the long cooling/setting up time.  Do yourself a favor and have something else planned during that time!  It will resist the temptation to dig into these before they are quite ready.

Raspberry Bars.
(Recipe Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

1 cup butter
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
3/4 cup raspberry (or other berry variety) jam
3 cups fresh raspberries
8 ounce cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Form dough for the crust by combing the butter and brown sugar.  Mix until combined, but not creamed.  Add salt and flour.  Mix until fully combined.  This will take a while...the mixture will start out crumbly, but with enough mixing, it will be smooth.  (This is a good mixing job for your Kitchen Aide or other mixer).  Press dough into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Allow to cool while you mix up the topping.

Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add sugar, flour, egg, egg yolk, orange zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.  Beat until combined and smooth.  Set aside.

Spread jam evenly over the top of the crust.  Sprinkle with raspberries - using more or less based on preference.  Pour topping evenly over berries, tilting pan back and forth to ensure even distribution.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool on the counter for 1 hour and then chill completely in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  Cut and enjoy.

There you have it!  A wonderful way to enjoy late summer or early fall as some may call it.  Either way, this is when the berries are ripe and this is what we call a summer treat. 

...and don't worry...I'm itching to start fall baking...apples, pumpkins, and spices...oh my!

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