Raspberry Almond Bars

Oh my goodness, Raspberry Almond Bars are so heavenly. Seriously, they are so sweet and scrumptious that a little piece is sufficient. Well, maybe NOT! Every time we serve these goodies they get rave reviews and everyone wants the recipe. And why not? Who wouldn’t want the recipe to this delectable brownie-type cookie?

Raspberry Almond Bars are a fabulous treat — not just for holiday baking either — but anytime during the year. This delicious Taste of Home recipe will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth. These bars are filled with vanilla chips, a delicious raspberry filling, and covered with almonds on top. Their extraordinary flavor will soon become one of your favorites too.

I have to admit one of my favorite hobbies is pouring through cookbooks. I love looking at the pictures and drooling over the recipes. Years ago, before there was such a thing as food blogs (or the Internet!), I found this fantastic recipe and our family has not been disappointed with the results each time I make it. I’m sure this rich, decadent bar will become one of your favorites too.

I’ve made these amazing bars several times for our Christmas Cookie Extravaganza  and everyone always loves them. These spectacular bars take a little extra work but they are so worth it. If you’re looking for a fabulous dessert for potlucks, baby showers, family reunions, holiday baking, office parties, or to take to kid’s soccer games, please consider these wonderful bars.

Raspberry Almond Bars are absolutely spectacular but they are a little bit of a high maintenance bar to bake, so I’m going to walk you through several steps that will help you have success when you make this bar. 1) The butter in the recipe is melted, then vanilla chips are added to the butter. It is crucial that you cool the butter at least 7 minutes (maybe even more) before adding the vanilla chips or they will melt and not hold their texture.  They are added to the butter WITHOUT stirring! 2) Don’t overmix the batter. Stir gently so the chips don’t get too soft. 3) When baking the crust layer, bake until the crust is thoroughly cooked, NOT just by time. If you try to put the raspberry filling on top of a crust that isn’t cooked all the way you will have a mess on your hands. 4) I allowed the bars to cool completely before cutting. 5) Spread the raspberry filling to within a quarter inch of the edges so the bars will be easier to remove from the baking dish. 6) Take your time and read and reread the directions a couple of times so you don’t miss steps or get them out of order. I may have extra instructions under the pictures that would be helpful for you to read as well.  If you do all these things you should have a delicious, heavenly brownie-type cookie that everyone will be ecstatic over.

When I first made this recipe in the early days of my blog, and then remade the recipe in March 2013, my pictures were with an iPhone camera rather than a higher quality camera. So my pictures failed to obtain the clear, distinctiveness I was looking for. Even with a better camera it is really hard to get good solid pictures.

I recently remade this recipe (January 2015) for a church friend who had just had surgery. I made several batches so we also had Raspberry Almond Bars for a houseful of company the following day. Everyone loved it. I handed a piece to one of the guys who’s not a serious sweets eater (no kidding 🙂 ). It was only  a small piece but I wanted him to try it. He LOVED it and so did everyone else–and I had another luscious, gooey dessert that I was serving that night! After one bite, I had no trouble convincing our company that they needed to take the rest of the plate home and eat these jewels up!

Raspberry Almond Bars are very sweet so I recommend cutting them into very small pieces. While this recipe is a bit of work and must be followed very carefully, step-by-step, these cookies are so incredible you will want to make them often. Enjoy.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Raspberry Almond Bars are a great dessert bar for special occasions or any holiday baking.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Raspberry Almond Bars are so rich and decadent. They’re a great dessert for office or holiday parties. The almond extract in the cookie dough and the almonds on top give a wonderful flavor to Raspberry Almond Bars.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

These bars are filled with vanilla chips, a raspberry preserve filling, and covered with lots of sliced almonds on top. These luscious bars will surely satisfy your sugar cravings.

 

Here’s what I did.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

I used these ingredients. I actually made 4 batches or the equivalent to 2 9×13″ baking dishes. This made 48 bars.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

In a small bowl place eggs. Beat the eggs with a mixer until frothy. Add sugar and almond extract.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Melt butter in a saucepan. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat. Allow it to cool for about 7-10 minutes. This step is crucial. If the butter doesn’t cool enough it will melt the chips and you will loose the proper texture for this bar.

Add part of the vanilla chips to the butter. Let them sit in the butter. DO NOT STIR! You want the chips to soften not dissolve into the butter.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Add the vanilla chip mixture to the egg mixture.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Add salt and UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour. Bleached flour toughens baked goods. 

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Stir to combine. If you did this right the mixture will show the whole vanilla chips rather than having a smooth texture because the chips melted in the butter that had not cooled long enough.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Spread half of the cookie dough mixture into a 9×13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes or until the crust layer is set.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Meanwhile, heat raspberry preserves in a small saucepan. Heat over a low heat so preserves don’t scorch. The preserves will thin out somewhat when they are heated to make them easier to spoon over the cookie crust layer.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Spread the raspberry preserves over the cookie crust leaving a 1/4-1/2″ border. This will prevent the preserves from sticking to the edge of the pan and the bars will be able to come out of the pan easily.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Stir the remaining vanilla chips into the remaining cookie dough batter.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Sprinkle the remaining cookie dough over top of the raspberry filling.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Sprinkle the cookie dough layer with sliced almonds.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Bake at 325 for an additional 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned on top and cookie dough is set. Cool bars completely. Cut into bars. A 9×13″ dish serves 24. A 9×9″ dish serves about 10.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

These elegant dessert bars are festive enough for holiday baking or special parties. I served them for a company dinner and everyone wanted more!

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

The raspberry filling and the vanilla chips in the batter make these bars extremely rich. Everyone loves this recipe. I’m sure your family will too.

 

Here’s the recipe.

RASPBERRY ALMOND BARS

(Adapted slightly from recipe from Taste of Home Annual Recipes 2002)

Print Recipe
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These lovely bars are wonderful for the holidays. The crust and topping layers have almonds and vanilla chips stirred into the batter. The middle layer is made with raspberry preserves.
Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings
Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, melt butter.
  2. Remove from the heat; cool for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add 1 cup chips but DO NOT stir.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs until foamy; add sugar and almond extract.
  5. Add chip mixture to bowl with eggs.
  6. Combine flour and salt; add to egg mixture just until combined. (I use a wooden spoon).
  7. Spread half of the batter into a greased 9-inch square baking pan.
  8. Bake at 325° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. (Mine took 30 minutes before it was set up enough and I was doubling the recipe).
  10. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt jam; spread over warm crust.
  11. Spread jam leaving about 1/8” edge so jam does not adhere to side edge of pan.
  12. Stir remaining chips into the remaining batter; drop by teaspoonfuls over the jam layer.
  13. Sprinkle with almonds.
  14. Bake for 30-35 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. (Mine took 40-45 minutes for a double batch).
  15. Cool on a wire rack.
  16. Cut into bars.
Recipe Notes

NOTE: Double the recipe to put in a 9x13” pan. Cut into 24 bars.

NOTE: It is important that you allow the melted butter to cool before adding the vanilla chips or they will melt completely and lose their texture. The vanilla chips will soften some, but others will keep their shape.

NOTE: Do not stir the vanilla chips into the melted butter. Allow them to sit in the butter and soften but not melt.

NOTE: While I have used cheaper brands of preserves before, the Smucker’s preserves seem to melt over low heat more smoothly and are not as congealed as other brands making them easier to work with and spread.

NOTE: Be sure to keep the preserves on a low heat so the jam doesn’t scorch.

NOTE: The crust layer needs to bake enough so that it sets up. If it is still gooey or sagging in the middle at 20 minutes, continue baking until it is firmer to the touch. My oven took 30 minutes. I baked the top layer 40 minutes.

NOTE: Melt butter over low heat so it doesn’t brown.

NOTE: While the recipe calls for seedless jam, I used preserves with seeds.

NOTE: Spread jam layer to within 1/8" of the border to allow for removing the bars from the pan without sticking.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

 

[b]Raspberry Almond Bars[/b]
Recipe Type: Cookies, Brownies and Bars
Cuisine: American
Author: Teresa Ambra adapted from [url href=”http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/raspberry-white-chocolate-bars” target=”_blank” title=”raspberry white chocolate bars”]Taste of Home[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 9
These lovely bars are wonderful for the holidays. The crust and topping layers have [url href=”http://www.fishernuts.com/” target=”_blank” title=”fisher nuts”]almonds[/url] and [url href=”http://www.nestleusa.com/brands/baking” target=”_blank” title=”vanilla chips – nestle”]vanilla chips[/url] stirred into the batter. The middle layer is made with [url href=”http://www.smuckers.com/” target=”_blank” title=”smuckers”]raspberry preserves[/url].
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 12-oz. pkg. [url href=”http://www.nestleusa.com/brands/baking” target=”_blank” title=”nestle vanilla chips”]Nestle’s[/url] Tollhouse premiere vanilla chips, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. [url href=”http://www.adamsextract.com/” target=”_blank” title=”adams extracts”]Adam’s[/url] almond extract
  • 1 cup [url href=”http://www.goldmedalflour.com/” target=”_blank” title=”gold medal unbleached flour”]Gold Medal [/url]UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour (bleached flour toughens baked goods)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup [url href=”http://www.smuckers.com/” target=”_blank” title=”smuckers jam”]Smucker’s[/url] seedless raspberry jam or red raspberry preserves
  • ¼ cup [url href=”http://www.fishernuts.com/” target=”_blank” title=”fisher almonds”]Fisher[/url] sliced almonds
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, melt butter.
  2. Remove from the heat; cool for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add 1 cup chips ([u]do not stir[/u]).
  4. In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs until foamy; add sugar and almond extract.
  5. Add chip mixture to bowl with eggs.
  6. Combine flour and salt; add to egg mixture just until combined. (I use a wooden spoon).
  7. Spread half of the batter into a greased 9-inch square baking pan.
  8. Bake at 325° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. (Mine took 30 minutes before it was set up enough and I was doubling the recipe).
  10. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt jam; spread over warm crust.
  11. Spread jam leaving about 1/8” edge so jam does not adhere to side edge of pan.
  12. Stir remaining chips into the remaining batter; drop by teaspoonfuls over the jam layer.
  13. Sprinkle with almonds.
  14. Bake for 30-35 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. (Mine took 40-45 minutes for a double batch).
  15. Cool on a wire rack.
  16. Cut into bars.
Notes
Double the recipe to put in a 9×13” pan. Cut into 24 bars.[br][br]It is important that you allow the melted butter to cool before adding the vanilla chips or they will melt completely and lose their texture. The vanilla chips will soften some, but others will keep their shape.[br][br]Do not stir the vanilla chips into the melted butter. Allow them to sit in the butter and soften but not melt.[br][br]While I have used cheaper brands of preserves before, the [url href=”http://www.smuckers.com/” target=”_blank” title=”smuckers jam”]Smucker’s[/url] preserves seem to melt over low heat more smoothly and are not as congealed as other brands making them easier to work with and spread.[br][br]Be sure to keep the preserves on a low heat so the jam doesn’t scorch.[br][br]The crust layer needs to bake enough so that it sets up. If it is still gooey or sagging in the middle at 20 minutes, continue baking until it is firmer to the touch. My oven took 30 minutes. I baked the top layer 40 minutes.[br][br]Melt butter over low heat so it doesn’t brown.[br][br]While the recipe calls for seedless jam, I used preserves with seeds.[br][br]Spread jam layer to within 1/8″ of the border to allow for removing the bars from the pan without sticking.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

These bars are thick and chewy and crunchy. They have wonderful texture and taste.

Raspberry Almond Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | absolutely spectacular #cookies that are to die for! #almonds #raspberryjam #dessert #vanillachips

Each bite of Raspberry Almonds Bars is filled with vanilla chips, almonds and delicious raspberry preserves. So yummy! Take a tray of these to your office parties or potlucks and the platter will be empty quite soon!

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Coconut Raspberry Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these ooey, gooey #dessert bars are great for #holiday baking or any time you want a delectable #cookie or #brownie. #raspberries #coconut

 

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Raspberry Lemonade Bars - IMG_1290

 

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Peppermint Dream Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these spectacular #cookies are based on the #ParadiseCafe #sugarcookie recipe. They include #andes #peppermint baking chips for an explosion of flavor. #dessert

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