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Monday, December 12, 2011

White Chocolate, Raspberry and Almond Bars

So, white chocolate doesn't drizzle. Clumps of white chocolate taste good too.

As I'm preparing for the holidays, I'm reaching another jam crisis in my refrigerator. I'm really working on using all the bits and pieces and unsealed jars from the summer and fall. I really like these Orange Marmalade Bars, and thought it would be easy to rearrange the flavors to accommodate any jam. The version I made this week includes an almond flavored cookie base and red raspberry jam. Unfortunately, I learned that white chocolate can be tricky and doesn't drizzle the way dark melted chocolate will. I just can't make another pan of these right now! I took them to work and still ate too many! I considered naming these OMG Cookie Bars based on Mr. Dwayne's initial reaction, but decided on a descriptive title instead. 

So, here's my plan for the white chocolate next time: Sprinkle the white chocolate on the cookie dough right out of the oven and spread it around a bit while warm. The toasted almonds will have to be the decoration for the top. 

Naturally, cookies like these will only taste as good as the jam you use. I will vouch for the dough base. It is from McCall's Cookie Collection (1965). It can be flavored any number of ways. It can be used as a bar base, a tart shell or as a sliced refrigerator cookie. 

White Chocolate, Raspberry and Almond Bars
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup good raspberry jam
2/3 cup toasted sliced almonds (I use Trader Joe's)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whip the butter until fluffy. Gradually add in sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the almond extract and egg. Beat until well incorporated.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together onto wax paper or parchment. Gradually beat into the cookie dough. When fully mixed, pour the dough into a greased 9 X 13 inch baking pan. Spread the dough into the pan. (I lined the pan with parchment for easy removal.) Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Remove the dough from the oven and either sprinkle with white chocolate chips and allow them to melt. Spread them a bit after they've melted. Alternatively, if you are brave, you can add the melted white chocolate later. Allow to cool completely. Once cool, spread with the raspberry jam. If you waited to add the white chocolate, do your best to pour or spread it on the jam now. Good Luck! Sprinkle with the almonds. They will slice more easily if allowed to set overnight.

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