I'm sure by now everyone is aware of the delightful winter we've been having this year! Unfortunately, here in New Orleans we are not immune to the FREEZING cold weather! It didn't snow but last week it did sleet and we had icy conditions for a couple of days. There were actually 2 snow days, that almost never happens here. Courtney and I were both off of work and we spent a wonderfully lazy day together. I decided there was no better time to used up some baking ingredients and whip up something tasty. There was a slight problem though, we only had 1 egg. Courtney and I searched for a while before coming across a recipe that didn't require any eggs. Ina Garten has a wonderful recipe for Raspberry Crumb Bars, and my trusted Cookie Bible, had a similar version involving chocolate. I made a version of the 2, and the results were sooo nice. I love a good bar.
Using a stand mixer, cream the sugars and butter together briefly. Add the flour, salt, and vanilla and mix with the paddle attachment until the mixture has a crumbly texture. Take 1 3/4 cup of the mix and press it evenly into the bottom of a greased baking dish. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.
While the bottom layer is baking you can make the rest of the layers. In a microwave-safe dish, combine the sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Microwave for 1 minute and stir to combine. If it needs more time to melt, heat in 10 sec. intervals. Spread the chocolate layer over the crust while it is still warm.
Next is the crumb topping. Take the remaining crumb mixture and add nuts, if you are going to use them. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chocolate. Distribute the jam over the crumb using a spoon , use as much or as little as you would like. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the jam ( I used peanut butter chips too) and bake the bars for 25-30 minutes. Let them cool completely before cutting.
Here is what you will need
Chocolate Raspberry Crumb Bars
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
10 oz. seedless raspberry jam
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cups nuts