Raspberry Squares

Can you believe that it wasn’t until I met Stephen that I started to like raspberries? For some reason the seeds and the tartness never really appealed to me. But now I’ve come to really love anything with raspberries in it, though I’m still not a fan of those pesky seeds. Anyway, I went to Target the other day in search of some nice fresh fruit and they had a ton of raspberries! I picked up a carton and knew that Stephen would eat some and the rest I could make something with. I remembered how good those blueberry-lemon crumb bars were, so I decided to make a slightly different version with raspberries. They turned out beautifully! Sweet, crunchy and delicious.

Raspberry Squares
Ingredients

1¼ c. all-purpose flour
⅓ c. granulated sugar + 1 tbsp.
¼ tsp. salt
10 tbsp. (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
⅓ c. old-fashioned rolled oats
4 tbsp. pecans, chopped
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 tsp. corn starch
¼ c. raspberry jam
1½ c. (12 oz.) fresh raspberries, washed
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice + 1 tsp. zest

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8 X 8″ baking pan with a foil or parchment.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ⅓ c. granulated sugar, and salt. With a pastry blender cut in the 10 tbsp. of butter until the mixture resembles wet sand. Reserve half of the mixture for the topping.
3. Sprinkle half of the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake the crust until the edges begin to brown (15-17 minutes). Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine the reserved flour mixture, oats, nuts, and brown sugar together in a medium bowl. Add the remaining 2 tbsp. butter and mix until small clumps begin to form. Set aside.
5. In a small bowl using a rubber spatula, combine the jam, raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and zest together.
6. Spread the berry mixture evenly over the warm crust, then sprinkle with the streusel topping. Place in oven and bake until the filling is bubbling and the topping is golden brown (24 to 26 minutes), rotating the pan halfway through baking.
7. Remove from oven and let the bars cool completely in the pan on a wire rack for about 1 hour. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil, cut into squares, and serve.

Stephen + Natalie | Makes approximately 9 bars