If you love shortbread, which I do, this is a great recipe. I don’t love overly sweet things so it makes sense that I gravitate towards treats like shortbread because they have a savory element that cookies or cake don’t typically have. The downside is that the savory element comes mostly from the fairly large amount of butter it takes to make shortbread cookies, or in this case, shortbread bars. But hey- somethings are worth it and this is one of them.
This recipe is inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe for raspberry crumble bars featured in her “Foolproof” cookbook. The major difference between Ina’s recipe and mine is that I prefer to use mixed berry jam over pure raspberry, but that’s a personal choice. When given a jam choice, I always go mixed berry.
- For this recipe to be successful you must use room temperature butter or your dough will not come together. (Trust me, I’ve made this mistake before.)
- Use the right size pan
- You need jam, not jelly. Yes, there is a difference!
- Wait for the bars to cool completely before removing from the pan. Removing from the pan is by far, the hardest part of the recipe. Just cut a small square to start and then go from there.
This is the 9×9 cake pan that I own and recommendIt’s necessary to have a good baking pan that reduces your chances of your batter sticking and ruining all your hard work. After a bit of research, this is the pan I choose for its construction that was designed to enhance air flow for even baking and rapid release. It cooks evenly and always releases easily. I recommend this product confidently.
- 1/2 pound 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 to 12 ounces mixed berry jam or raspberry jam
- 2/3 cup good granola without dried fruit
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed just until combined. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla.
Sift the flour and salt together and, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter mixture, mixing until it almost comes together in a ball. Turn the dough out on a board. Lightly pat two-thirds of the dough evenly on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan and about ¼ inch up the sides. Spread with the jam, leaving a ¼-inch border. Mix the granola into the remaining dough with your hands. Break the dough into small bits and distribute it on top of the jam, covering most of the surface. Sprinkle the almonds on top.
Bake the bars for 45 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool completely and cut into 9 or 12 bars. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners’ sugar.
Once cooled, store in an airtight container for 3 days.