Growing up, my mother had a cookbook put out by a local church group called “I Cook, You Clean”. Amidst all the casseroles and Jello salad recipes, there was this little gem for raspberry bars. The crust was a mix of boxed cake mix and a ton of butter with Kroger brand raspberry jam poured on top. My mom made them for just about every event and they were always a hit and one of my absolute favorite treats. I still get happy every time I think about them.
So the next step was, how do I create these wonderful bars from my childhood memories? The cookbook is long gone so there would be some trial and error, especially with the crust. I needed it to melt in your mouth when you took a bite, but firm enough to keep the structure of the bar. I looked at a few different shortbread recipes to figure this out, and had a couple of fails. That’s when I went to my trusty starting place – a King Arthur’s Flour recipe. Their shortbread bar recipe took me three tries to get it how I want it and I am in love with this flakey melty crust!
This is the first time I have attempted to make jam and I was blown away by how easy it was (and of course, I skipped that whole canning process). I usually try of a corner of the bars as soon as they are cool enough to touch because there is something about that warm bubbly raspberry jam with the soft shortbread that brings me a crazy amount of happiness.