Monday, October 14, 2013

Raspberry-Chocolate Bars

These yummy bar cookies use few ingredients and come together fast. I recommend seedless jam for the best consistency, but if you can't find a good vegan version, regular raspberry jam will do in a pinch. One to try: Santa Cruz Organic.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed vegan brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (such as Chocolate Dream)
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar seedless raspberry jam*
1. Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife.  Combine the flour in a bowl with the oats, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown sugar and butter; beat at medium speed until smooth.

3. Add the flour mixture and stir until blended - your mixture will still be crumbly.

4. Transfer 3/4 cup of this dough to a bowl, and toss with the chocolate chips.

5. Press the remaining dough into the bottom of an 8-inch square metal baking pan.

Note: The mixture is crumbly, but as soon as you press it together, the stickiness from the butter and sugar helps it all glue together. Just make sure to pat firmly.

6. Spread the jam evenly over the dough - this stage is a touch delicate, to ensure you don't disturb the layer of dough underneath, but slow and steady will win the race.

7. Sprinkle with the chocolate chip mixture, then bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into 16 squares.

*Substitute a different flavor jam if you're not a raspberry fan, or just for a fun variation.

Nutrition Info:
16 servings (1 bar), Calories 175

Tasting Notes:
Ah-mazing. The top and bottom have the perfect blend of salty, crunchy, sweet, and chocolate, and a perfect layer of raspberry is sandwiched in the middle. Guests will easily believe these are a bakery creation, rather than something you whipped up at home.  I do recommend coating your pan with cooking spray, as these were just a touch hard to extract from the pan, especially where the jelly adhered to the metal sides.

How amazing are these? So amazing they deserve one more picture. Enjoy.