Here in Utah, we’ve been enjoying shockingly high temps for this “winter” season. Yesterday I drove home from work with the windows down and enjoy 60 degree weather. Record temperatures make it feel like spring and it’s a nice treat for February. Since the weather has been lightening up and the Valentine season is blossoming, I was craving something red and fruity.
The beauty of these bars is that they feel like a spring/summer treat. Nothing could make me happier! Pretty desserts seem to do that naturally but when they are also naturally sweetened, vegan and filled with whole grains, I feel like I’ve got it made.
After making these blueberry shortbread bars several months ago, I’ve just been waiting until berries and summer fruits were in season to make more versions. I couldn’t wait any longer with this warm weather so I settled on a flavor with raspberries. Since raspberry jam was used in this recipe, there is no need for fresh berries to obtain that lovely buttery, fruity flavor. You can enjoy these bars no matter the season or weather. Enjoy!
Raspberry Dessert Bars
2 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons Oat Flour, divided (for topping)
2/3 cup Xylitol or Powdered Honey or Maple Sugar (powdered honey is my fav for this part)
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/8 teaspoon Sea or Pink Salt
1 1/3 cups Earth Balance Butter
1/2 teaspoon Natural Butter Extract (optional)
12-ounces Natural Raspberry Jam
3/4 teaspoon Vanilla Flavored Stevia Extract
1/3 cup Xylitol
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan. Measure out flour and place in a large bowl, reserving about 1 teaspoon.
Add the powdered honey, baking powder and salt. Mix well to combine. Cut in earth balance butter in to the mixture until it looks like almost like a moist pie dough. It should not be overly crumbly. Scoop out the mixture and press into prepared pan. Press gently around the edges to create a crust so the filling will hold well. Place in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the crust for 16-18 minutes, or until golden. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool until only slightly warm or at room temperature. In a small bowl, mix the raspberry jam with the vanilla stevia. Spread onto the shortbread bars.
In a high-powered blender, combine the xylitol and cornstarch. Blend until it becomes the consistency of powdered sugar. Dust over the bars.