May 10, 2011

Raspberry Almond Bars

Hello!  I was in the mood to bake again... it's funny how that happens during school vacation weeks!  I needed something new and different to bake for my upcoming Pampered Chef party so I dusted off my cookbooks and found this delicious recipe.
     Actually, it was a toss-up between this recipe and the box of Duncan Hines Devil's Food cake in my cupboard.  Since I'm too lazy to get out my cake decorating kit I figured a trip to the grocery store for ingredients would be much easier. ;)
  These were surprisingly quick and easy to make.  I do recommend using a stand mixer for this recipe; the eggs and sugar are beat until pale yellow, about 5 minutes, and your arm will get tired quickly with a hand mixer!  My official taste tester, my husband, believe these may just be the best bars I've ever made.  He was quite disappointed when he realized that the rest were for my party, not us!
     The base is similar to shortbread but moister.  The slight hint of almond (one of my favorite flavors) in the base mixed with white chocolate and raspberry is absolutely amazing!  But if raspberry isn't your thing you could easily substitute it for apricot.

Raspberry Almond Bars
1/2 cup butter
2 cups white chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup sliced almonds

* Heat oven to 325; grease and sugar 9-inch square baking pan
* Melt butter, uncovered, in microwave on high for 1 minute. Add 1 cup white chocolate chips and let stand.  Do not stir.
* Beat eggs in large mixer bowl until foamy.  Add sugar; beat until light lemon colored, about 5 minutes.  Stir in chip-butter mixture.  Add flour, salt and almond extract; mix at low speed until combined.
* Spread 2/3 of the mixture into prepared pan.
* Bake for 15-17 minutes or until light golden brown around edges.  Remove from oven.
* Heat jam in microwave for 30-45 seconds; stir.  Spread jam over warm crust.  Stir remaining chips into remaining batter and drop spoonfuls of batter over jam.  Sprinkle with almonds.
* Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are browned.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Cut into bars.

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