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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Swedish Raspberry and Almond Bars

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From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Those of us who love to cook amass recipes the way Midas did gold. Despite efforts to contain them, our collections grow at an alarming rate. Tucked in among them, however, you'll usually find a handful of well-worn treasures that, having stood the test of time and taste, have been granted best of class status and become family favorites. The bar cookies I'm featuring today are in that category. They were originally the creation of an unknown Swedish housewife who, using a bit of butter and sugar, managed to produce a buttery cookie so memorable that its reputation crossed an ocean and entered the kitchens of the new world where they are still enjoyed today. I first had these cookies as a child when war time rationing forced them to be made with margarine. Margarine back then was an interesting affair. It came in a block that looked like lard. Each block contained a packet of coloring that was worked into it until it was uniformly yellow. Believe it or not, the job of mixing often fell to children who vied for the task. These cookies are so good that even margarine could not spoil them, but when they are made with butter they become an unforgettable treat. The base of the cookies is a shortbread that is covered with a layer of raspberry or apricot jam. The jam is covered with a meringue and is finished with a topping of sliced almonds. The recipe for the cookies, which appears below, comes from Taste of Home magazine. I add almond extract and a bit of salt to the shortbread, but other than that I stick with the recipe, which is foolproof. These bars are a personal favorite of mine and I highly recommend them to you. I know you'll enjoy them. Here is how they are made.

Swedish Raspberry and Almond Bars...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Taste of Home magazine

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup sliced almonds, divided
Additional confectioners' sugar

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and mix well. Press onto the bottom of a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
2) Bake 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
3) Spread jam over crust. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in coconut and 1/2 cup almonds. Spread over jam. Sprinkle with remaining almonds.
4) Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 2 dozen.

Cook's Note: I add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract to the cookie base.







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22 comments :

Ginny said...

They look amazingly tender...

cara said...

That may be on my to do list today. they sound wonderful! Thanks.

Joanne said...

I love bar cookies like this, especially when filled with sweet tart jam!

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

How delicious! Could do with snacks like this on long Sunday afternoons.
Your blog is looking really good Mary! Thanks for adding me on facebook and I'm glad you liked the look of the soup I cooked :)

Duncan In Kuantan

Kathy said...

These look amazingly delicious, Mary!

bellini said...

I enjoyed reading about the history of this recipe about margarine and kneading the colour into it. No Nintendo or Game Boys for kids of our generation.

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, these will have to be made in my kitchen this week- they look wonderful! Thank you!

Jeannie Tay said...

Sound really delicious with amazing layers of flavors and textures!

Foodycat said...

These sound so lovely! Better with butter.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Mmmmmm I am going to try this with cherry jam of which we have masses at the moment. Hope that all is well Diane

Gloria Baker said...

Look really delicious Mary!!

hobby baker said...

Those look SO wonderful! Like a cross between a meringue bar and a hand held bakewell. I am putting these on my make this summer list. Up toward the top. ;)

Chris Scheuer said...

FABULOUS combination! Love these! Raspberries never fail to be a winner for me!

Rambling Tart said...

These look absolutely WONDERFUL, Mary! They remind me of tea and coffee breaks with my rellies in Canada. :-)

Deb in Hawaii said...

Raspberry bars are some of my favorite treats. These look so buttery and so good! ;-)

Life's a shoe said...

wow looks delish..never tried that combination

From the Kitchen said...

These are not quite foolproof. Here's why: Single and working in D.C., I was making these to take to work. I popped them in the oven and took the trash down the hall to the incinerator. Alas, the door locked behind me. I had no key. The manager was not in the office. They burned beyond a crisp!! I am older, wiser and happy to have this recipe once again.

Best,
Bonnie

Jenn S said...

I adore anything with raspberry in it... and these bars look amazing! I could go for one or two or three right now, actually :)

kitchen flavours said...

Your raspberry bar looks wonderful! Glad to know the story behind these bars. When I was young, my mother used to bake with margarine, butter are only affordable to the "rich" back then!
Hope you have a great week.

David said...

Mary, Great recipe!! I would love these raspberry and almond bars. Subtle yet sweet with the almond flavor offsetting the sweet raspberries... They look great too! Thanks and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Mr. & Mrs. P said...

These bars looks like they dont disappoint.... yum

tender b. said...

Almonds and raspberry...very nice.

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