Hello, lovelies! G/Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but the cold has hung on with a vengeance, which always puts me in a baking mood. When the weather outside is frightful, I want nothing more than to munch on something warm and homey, and the baking process has the added benefits of 1. making my apartment smell awesome and 2. significantly raising the temperature in my kitchen. Winter is a tough season for bakers, especially in the Northern climes, as many of our favorite ingredients are in short, and very expensive, supply. One can only make so many apple pies. So when I find myself dreaming of summery peach pies or blueberry scones, I turn to recipes like this one.
These cookies are one of my all-time favorites from my mom’s kitchen, but they tend to get mushy in the mail, so I’ve been forced to tackle them on my own. The rich chocolate and red raspberry may lead you to believe that these are a Valentine’s dessert. However, I am a firm believer that February 14th, while lovely, is a completely arbitrary moment to show your affection. True love means showing the ones you hold dear that you care every day of the year, not just 1/365th of the time, and chocolate and red fruits are no exception to that rule. And the best thing about this recipe? It calls for frozen raspberries, making it an all-season baking all-star, and a perfect cure for those winter doldrums.
Chocolate Raspberry Bars
1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup butter (softened)
1 box (10 oz) frozen raspberries in syrup (thawed but undrained)
¼ cup orange juice
1 tbsp cornstarch
¾ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, and butter to form dough.
Press the dough evenly in the bottom of an ungreased 13X9-in. pan.
Bake for 15 minutes.
In a 1-qt. saucepan, mix the raspberries (with syrup), orange juice, and cornstarch. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Once it comes to a boil, continue boiling and stirring for 1 minute. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over crust. Once the raspberry mixture has cooled, carefully spread it over the chocolate layer. Try to get the layer evenly distributed across the pan, paying special attention to the corners.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the raspberry mixture has set.
Remove from oven and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until the chocolate is firm.
Cut and serve.