Raspberry Fruit Bars
Like cookies, fruit bars, are a weakness of mine, These raspberry fruit bars are no exception. Effortless in preparation, loaded with raspberries and topped with a simple yet irresistible brown sugar-oat crumble make these a favorite of my family’s all year long.
By definition, a cookie is a baked treat that is typically small, flat and sweet. It usually contains flour. Bar cookies (or fruit bars like these) consist of a batter or dough that is poured or pressed into a pan and filled with a fruit, jam or confectionery filling, that is then baked and cut in bars (or squares). Some people think fruit bars are similar to individual hand-pies. For me, these raspberry bars are almost like a cookie and pie in one amazing little square. And truthfully, you can’t go wrong with that!
Although these fruit bars have a few similarities to my raspberry oatmeal cookie bars, in my fruit bar recipe I omit the coconut (something not everyone loves as much as me…) and replace the jam with frozen raspberries. Yep, you heard that correctly. The result, is a fruit-loaded treat. I don’t typically use frozen fruit when baking, although with bar recipes (as well as with some muffin recipes) they can actually be helpful. Frozen fruit contains less water than fresh berries which prevents these bars (and other baked goods) from becoming soggy.
For these raspberry fruit bars I use either frozen organic berries or I use up summer berries I’ve frozen at the end of the season. Freezing fresh leftover berries during the summer is a great way to reduce waste and allows you to stockpile them for future use. These fruit bars make a great dessert, afternoon treat, or if you’re my husband, breakfast any day of the week.
Recipe: Raspberry Fruit Bars
- For the Raspberry Filling:
- 2 (12-ounce) bags of frozen organic raspberries, thawed and well drained
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Crumble:
- 3 cups whole grain, extra wide, rolled oats
- 3 cups fall-purpose flour
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Step 2 For the Raspberries: Place the raspberries in a large colander. Run warm water over them and gently toss with your hands. Allow the berries to drainer about 30 minutes.
- Step 3 Using your hands gently squeeze as much juice as possible from the raspberries. In a large mixing bowl add the thawed raspberries, sugar, flour, cornstarch, and vanilla extract. Gently toss to coat.
- Step 4 For the Crumble: In a separate large mixing bowl add the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, cinnamon and salt. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to blend together into a crumble-like mixture.
- Step 5 Press two thirds of the crumble into the bottom of of the prepared baking pan. Par-bake the base for about 10 minutes to set.
- Step 6 Remove from the oven and spoon the raspberry mixture on top of the par-baked base layer. Sprinkle with remaining crumble. Bake for another 25-30 minutes until set.
- Step 7 Remove from oven. Allow the bars to cool completely to set before slicing.