Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Handmade Christmas: Baking

Another easy type of baking to do during the holidays is brownies and bars. My mom and I have made these raspberry bars before and my dad loves them. You can substitute any flavor preserve or nuts, so mix it up depending on what you have an what you like. Bars are quick and easy and like breads, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Cut them into little squares and package them in cellophane bags with a bow and you're all set. These also freeze well. Use tupperware or disposable metal pans to layer the bars between wax paper. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months.

Raspberry Bars
1 recipe makes an 8x8 pan, double for a 9x13

2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup softened butter
1 egg
10 oz. raspberry preserves

Combine all ingredients except preserves. Beat at low speed for 2 -3 minutes. Coat pan with nonstick spray. Press half of the dough (roughly 1 1/2 cups) into the bottom of your pan. Top with preserves and remaining dough crumbles. Bake at 350 F for 42 - 50 minutes. Should be just lightly browned. Watch the edges and turn down to 325 F if it's browning too quickly around the edge. I like to use glass pans so I can see what's going on.

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