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Have A Merry Raspberry Christmas

With Christmas just weeks away, our calendars are full with parties and reunions to attend, and we’re happily daydreaming about the sinful, calorie-laden food we “have to” partake in. Normally, I would present something obscenely rich and enchantingly ambrosial for the holidays. But this year, I decided to take the healthier path with something really easy to prepare, high in dietary fiber, lower in sugar, but loaded with lots of flavor and sensual goodness! These bars give you the best of all worlds, plus they won’t stress you out in the kitchen with their ease of preparation. They’re perfect to bring along on your next Christmas party or family reunion, and they stay fresh for a long time, making them an ideal gift for your friends and loved ones.

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

Makes 24 cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar?
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup pecans, lightly toasted and finely chopped
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberry preserves

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Line bottom with nonstick baking paper, allowing the paper to extend 2 inches on all sides of the pan.

2. Combine all-purpose our, quick-cooking oats, caster sugar, dark brown sugar,? fine sea salt, baking soda ?and pecans in a mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment, beat mixture on low speed until well blended.

3. With the mixer running, add unsalted butter gradually. Continue mixing until mixture resembles wet sand.

4. Transfer 2/3 of the mixture to the prepared baking pan and press evenly on bottom of pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is starting to brown.

5. Using a rubber spatula, spread raspberry preserves on crust. Sprinkle remaining crust mixture over preserves. Bake for 30 minutes, or until preserves bubble around the edges and top is golden brown.

6. Remove from oven and cool completely. Wrap baking pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

7. Unmold and cut into 24 bars.

 

Photography by Paulo Valenzuela

Styling by Tina Concepcion Diaz