These crispy, chewy, buttery Old World Raspberry Bars are an easy dessert to make for any occasion.
Sometimes I plan to bake, but sometimes baking attacks me. It’s almost like a sneeze. Once I get the urge, there’s no stopping it.
This past Saturday was our Earth Day clean up for work. We had a really great morning picking up trash and working in community gardens then celebrated with a neighborhood cookout. It was a lot of fun, but I came home pooped. I spent the afternoon scrolling through Pinterest, editing a few photos, and watching my husband play games on his iPad. If you can have negative productivity, I think I had it.
But then, suddenly, at 9:00 PM, I got the fever. I had to bake. And I didn’t want to bake just anything. I wanted to bake Old World Raspberry Bars. I ran to the kitchen.
No raspberry jam. No pecans.
Now, mind you, I have enough baking supplies in the house that I could have made dozens of different desserts that night. Cookies, cakes, breads, pies…wouldn’t have been a problem. I even had a jar of peach jam that could have been substituted for the raspberry jam in this recipe.
But it just wouldn’t do. I wanted raspberry bars. And I wanted them tonight.
So at 9:30 PM I found myself changing out of sweat pants into the dirt splatter jeans I’d worn earlier, throwing my hair into a pony tail, and trekking to the nearest Kroger. I’m sure I was a sight to behold. But I was a woman with a craving. (And in case you’re wondering at this point, no I’m not pregnant. God help us when I am. You should probably start praying for the Mr. now).
Raspberries and pecans. I was in and out of Kroger in a flash and managed to avoid running into anyone I know (thank goodness).
When I got home, I whipped these raspberry bars up in a jiffy and was rewarded with the most heavenly smell from my oven for the next 45 minutes.
These hit the spot.
This is my mom’s recipe and it’s an old favorite. I have no idea how they got the name “Old World Raspberry Bars,” but I sure do love em.
It really doesn’t get any more basic than these raspberry bars. Flour, eggs, sugar, butter–and lots of it. The bars start with a pie-like dough pressed into the bottom of a pan then spread with a layer of raspberry jam. The same dough you use for the bottom is then crumbled over top. I added some oats and coconut to the crumble on top to give it a little extra texture, but it’s definitely not necessary.
What you end up with is a golden browned and bubbly pan of tart, sweet, buttery goodness. If the crust is your favorite part of a pie, you’re going to love these bars. Every bite is full of crumbly crust with a burst of raspberry. They’re my happy, homey, springtime comfort food.
I maaaay have made another batch of them the next day with peach jam and walnuts, because, well,…why not?
Mom's Old World Raspberry Bars
Raspberry jam sandwiched between two layers of crumbly buttery dough. Note: This recipe produces a very high crust to jam ratio. If you prefer more jam, you can either increase the amount of jam or cut the amount of crust ingredients in half. This will produce much thinner bars that won't need to be baked as long.
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 4 sticks butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups pecans, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 18 oz. raspberry jam
- 1 cup oats (optional)
- 1/2 cup coconut (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer combine flour, butter, sugars, eggs, pecans, and salt just until crumbly. If you mix too long it will become more like a cookie dough. No worries, it'll still be delicious.
- Press all but about 2½ cups of the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Spread all the jam over the crumb mixture.
- Add the cup of oats to the remaining crumbs. Crumble the mixture over the top of the jam. You want the top to be kinda craggly so just pile the mixture in all sorts of weird shapes on top of the jam.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. If desired sprinkle coconut over the top then return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown and the jam is bubbly.
- *Note: This recipe can easily be halved and baked in an 8 x 8 inch square.
Recipe by Neighborfood