Finally, day twelve! This has been a mouth-watering, hip expanding journey for me. Hopefully, you’ll have found a few favorites along the way! My freezer is stocked with yummy cookies and this Raspberry Shortbread Bar is a great finale. It is simple to throw together, which is always nice during this busy holiday month. This bar is also delicious, with its tender crust, fruity raspberry filling, and sweet, crumbly topping. Plus, it’s pretty to boot. You really can’t go wrong! The raspberry preserves could even be substituted with apricot, strawberry, blackberry…whatever sound good to you!
1 lb butter (4 sticks) at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup almond flour (or very finely ground almonds)***
1 1/2 cups raspberry preserves
Powdered sugar for dusting
~Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of your mixer. Beat at medium low speed until creamy. Add the vanilla and salt and beat until combined. Beat the all-purpose and almond flours into the butter mixture on low speed just until a smooth soft dough forms.
~Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray and press 1/3 of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust. Wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold and firm, at least 30 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
~Bake the bottom crust until it is firm and just beginning to turn pale brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and spread preserves evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining shortbread dough over the jam to form a pebbly, crumbled topping.
~Return the pan to the oven and continue baking until topping is firm and crisp and lightly golden in color, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
~Use a sharp knife to cut bars evenly into 15 large squares. Remove from pan with metal spatula. If desired, cut in half on the diagonal to form 30 smaller triangular bars. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
~Tightly covered bars will keep for one week at room temperature.
***I started to make these and then realized that I was out of almond flour. I didn’t have almonds on hand either, but I did have butter crunch cashews from Target. They were wonderful! I just threw them in the food processor and they ground up into a nice flour. The coating on the cashews kept them from turning into cashew butter so it worked out great! As good as it was I’ll still try it with almond flour next time. I love the almond and raspberry flavor combination!