These rich raspberry shortbread bars are adapted from one of my cooking idols, Ina Garten.
Recently, I was asked to cater a dessert platter for twenty so I decided to write a series including this shortbread bar, about two bite desserts. That way I could make the desserts AND share them with you too.
Traditional English shortbread is a a simple 1:2:3 ratio: one part sugar, two parts butter and three parts flour (by weight). To make this recipe vegan, use unsalted vegan butter instead of regular unsalted butter.
Shortbread provides a sweet, crumbly crust you just pat into a brownie pan. Spread your favorite jam, jelly or citrus curd on top, then sprinkle with a streusel topping made from shortbread dough, granola, citrus zest and almonds.
If you have read about some of my other recipes, you know I love variety. Make this shortbread ANY flavor; I have made apple, lemon, mixed berry and raspberry! Best of all, you can put this recipe together in about twenty minutes. Because the shortbread is so rich, one batch yields 16 small bars. To double the recipe, use a quarter sheet pan and make 32 bars. It’s part cookie, part pie and totally delicious.
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Shortbread crust plus raspberry filling equals a delicious two bite pie bar! Substitute any flavor jam or citrus curd for endless combinations. Use vegan butter for a vegan alternative.
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (226 gm) (vegan butter ok)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (175 gm)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (303 gm)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 – 10 oz raspberry jam (300 – 360 gm)
- 2/3 cup granola with almonds (80 gm)
- zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon, optional
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, optional (35 gm)
- powdered sugar, for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 inch square or brownie pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
- Gather and measure all ingredients.
- Using a handheld or electric mixer with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar on medium speed for two to three minutes. Add in vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour and salt. Turn mixer on low and add flour to butter mixture one third at a time. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Mix just until flour disappears and dough starts to form into a ball.
- Set dough onto a piece of parchment paper on your work surface. Reserve a fourth of the dough for the topping. Gently pat the remaining dough evenly into the square pan lined with parchment with a 1/4 inch rim ( of dough) up the sides. Spread the jam, leaving a 1/4 inch border on all four sides. In a small bowl, use your fingers to gently crumble the remaining dough and combine it with the granola, orange and lemon zest. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the jam (you may not need to use all of it), covering most of the surface. Sprinkle almonds on top, if desired.
- Bake for 40 -45 minutes, until edges and topping are golden.
- Let cool completely. Cut into 12- 16 squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, optional.
Adapted from Ina Garten