Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rosie's Raspberry Bars

Rosie's Raspberry Bars

The summer of 2010 we stopped at every bakery between here and NewFoundland on a family vacation.  I also had to stop and buy pants that would accommodate the bakery visits, but that's a different story.  Along the way we tasted some delicious squares.  I wanted to replicate one of the bars we came across but couldn't find a recipe online.  I came up with this recipe based on that delicious square, with some small improvements like a shortbread base.  This is my most requested dessert and is always a crowd pleaser.  Enjoy!

Shortbread Base 
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour

1. Prepare a 9X13 pan by lining it with parchment paper.
2. Cream softened butter and sugar together.  
3. Add flour and mix thoroughly.  
4. Press into prepared pan, prick with a fork every few inches and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  
5. Once shortbread is golden brown, let it cool for 10-20 minutes so your jam doesn't tear up the shortbread and make a mess of your squares!

Using your favorite raspberry jam, carefully spread the jam about 1cm thick over the shortbread (you can make it thinner or thicker but if it's too thick it will be a complete mess to cut).

I've also tried this recipe with triple berry jam and blueberry jam.  Raspberry seems to have the most flavour, but the other jams make delicious squares as well.  

Carefully pour the sweetened condensed milk over the jam and gently spread it around to cover the jam entirely being sure not to lift the jam up.  

Sprinkle roughly 2 cups of  unsweetened coconut over the sweetened condensed milk, covering the whole tray of squares.

Throw the whole thing back in the 350 oven for 20 minutes or until the sides are bubbling up.  Let cool completely before cutting into squares.  If you have the willpower to resist, leave it overnight to cool so the sweetened condensed milk doesn't squish out of the sides too much when you're cutting the squares. 

* These squares can be messy, so I cut muffin papers in half and place each square in their own little wrapper.  This keeps the tray clean and your squares neat and tidy. *

If you want to try to make your own sweetened condensed milk:

Dissolve 3/4 cup of sugar in 1/2 cup boiling water
Add 1 1/4 cup of powdered skim milk and mix vigorously until all the bumps are gone (you can do this in a small food processor, but I do it by hand - less messy) 

This replaces 1 can of sweetened condensed milk.

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