These Raspberry Streusel Dessert Bars were fantastically delicious! They are perfectly buttery with just the right sweetness and a bit of tartness from the raspberry jam. I made them last week for book group after seeing them on my friend, Amanda blog, Amanda's Cookin'. She made them with a combination of raspberry jam and cherry jam. The only reason I only used raspberry was because I didn’t have any cherry jam.
I have since bought some and am ready to make these bars again. They were so good. A couple of the ladies at book group were eating them and ooh-ing and ahh-ing over how good they were. These bars could be called “Better Than……Dessert Bars” because the “Oh my goodness” eyes-rolled-to-back-of-head looks I was getting while we tried discussing our book for the month, Memoirs of a Geisha and watching the movie were just that---“better than…..” you know. One of the ladies eating a bar started with the “Oh my’s” and told another, “You just wait until you try them, you’ll see.” When the other finally had one, she reacted the same way. It was pretty funny.
I will say, they are definitely SO good. Make them. You’ll see. You’ll want to take them somewhere where others will help you eat them or give them away, because if you don’t, you’ll end up eating far more of them than you intended!
I made them pretty close to Amanda’s recipe, but did make a few little changes, besides the jam.
Raspberry Streusel Dessert Bars, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Amanda’s Cookin’ Cherry Berry Streusel Dessert Bars
2 1/2 cups (300 grams) unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (320 grams) raspberry jam*
1 cup (110 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1-2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with non-stick foil (or spray pan with cooking spray). In bowl of food processor, add the flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse to combine. Add the almond extract, vanilla, and cubed, cold butter. Pulse until coarse crumbs are formed. It will seem “dry”, but put 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared baking pan and press it down evenly. Reserve the rest of the crumb mixture. Spread the jam over the bottom crust in the pan. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining crumbs and press down slightly (all of the jam will not be covered completely). Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.
For the icing, combine the powdered sugar, almond extract, and melted butter. Begin stirring and add one tablespoon of milk at a time until desired consistency to drizzle over the bars. Cut the bars in to individual squares, then drizzle icing over each. Let set for a while until it hardens slightly.
*If you don’t like the seeds in the jam, and don’t have seedless jam, you can heat the jam slightly, then push it through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
These are perfect for taking to any kind of function as they travel well, the icing dries nicely so they could even be stacked, and they will be loved by everyone!