Chocolate Raspberry Shortbread Bars combine a buttery shortbread crust topped with raspberry jam, chocolate chips, and more shortbread crumbs for decadent cookie bars that are sure to become a holiday tradition, as well as a year-round family favorite!
So...I realize that my last post was a cookie recipe. And today I'm posting another one. But it's December, and that means that I have Christmas cookies on the brain in the same way that I was pumpkin-obsessed from the months of September through November. So please bear with me and I'll try to incorporate a non-cookie post or two into my schedule next week...try being the operative word. 😉 Until then, back to the recipe at hand!
Y'all. These shortbread bars are some of my all-time favorite cookies. They are on the list of cookies that I make every Christmas, but they're so tasty that I make them throughout the rest of the year as well. So what's so special about them? Well, let's start from the bottom and work our way up, shall we?
First off, the crust is good enough to eat plain and all by itself. It's like a pecan sandy-type of shortbread, with a nice, nutty undertone from finely chopped pecans. And of course, it involves lots of butter and sugar. You know, to hold everything together.
Once you press your shortbread into the pan, you then spread it with seedless raspberry jam and sprinkle it with semisweet chocolate chips. Ummm...y'all have had chocolate and raspberry together before, right? Because it's only like one of the best flavor combinations EVER. I am always a sucker for any type of chocolate dessert with raspberry sauce, or chocolate truffles with raspberry filling, or -- HEY! -- cookie bars with chocolate chips and raspberry jam! So. Good.
As if that isn't enough, the final touch to these bars is sprinkling a crumble of reserved shortbread crumbs all over the top of the raspberry chocolate goodness. Then you pop your pan into the oven so that the magic can happen. The shortbread crumbs turn golden as the chocolate melts into the raspberry jam. So. Good. (Again.)
I have to apologize now because I'm afraid that these photos don't do justice to the deliciousness of this recipe, since the middle layer ends up looking kind of dark and it's hard to tell that the raspberry jam is in there. But please tell me that you'll give these bars a chance anyway! I promise...their humble aesthetics (and my less-than-exciting pictures) are not reflective of their amazing taste and texture.
And you know what else? If chocolate and raspberry don't particularly float your boat (is that even possible?), you can always customize these to your liking! I think these bars would be delicious with strawberry preserves in lieu of raspberry and milk chocolate chips instead of semisweet, or apricot jam and white chocolate chips, or apple butter and butterscotch chips...or how fun would these be with grape jelly and peanut butter chips for an after school snack?
Whether you stick to the recipe or decide to change it up, one thing is for certain...I think you should make these for your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors for the holidays! These little gems might not be the flashiest cookies on the Christmas cookie tray, but I can guarantee you that once people taste them, they will be amongst the most popular.
Chocolate Raspberry Shortbread Bars
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup finely chopped pecans
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
- 12 ounces seedless raspberry jam
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with butter or coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, pecans, and salt. Stir in egg. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure out 1 ½ cups of crumbs and set aside. Evenly press remaining crumbs into the bottom of the pan.
- Spoon the jam onto the crust and spread it into a thin, even layer. Sprinkle jam with chocolate chips and then reserved shortbread crumbs.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until crumbs are starting to turn light golden brown. Remove pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
Adapted from Best Loved Hershey's Recipes