Buttery and sweet, these skinny raspberry shortbread bars are definitely not short on flavor! You’ll never be able to tell they’re made with fewer calories!
These raspberry shortbread bars got a makeover 😉 They’re made with fewer calories than typical shortbread bars, yet are packed full of flavor. You can whip these bars up with NO mixer and very little “hands on” time, and they certainly have that WOW factor!
Don’t you guys just love desserts?? I feel like SO many of my recipe ideas are dessert oriented lol. These bars though… wow! I’ve made them quite a few times, and every time I get just as giddy as the first time. They. Are. Just. So. Good! They’re buttery, sweet but not TOO sweet, with that awesome streusel topping and topped off with a decadent drizzle of milk chocolate.
These bars are completely delicious without the drizzled chocolate, but c’mon… things are always better with a little bit of chocolate right? 😉
I can’t remember if I’ve told you guys this before, (seriously, I forget things all the time!), but my husband doesn’t care much for sweets. I know right? Craziness! He has to be in the mood to eat a dessert, which doesn’t happen very often. So naturally, most of the time, it’s the kids and I that are enjoying the sweet treat. However, he DOES eat these bars. They converted a non-sweet eater! Woohooo!!
So how on earth did I make these decadent looking bars “skinnier”? My secret weapon for all my no regrets baking is Born Sweet® Zing™ Baking Blend! Have you guys seen this product? Zing™ Baking Blend is made with stevia leaf extract and pure cane sugar… nothing artificial. With just 5 calories per serving, it’s a great way to lighten up your recipes by sweetening with less calories! I use it in my morning coffee all the time, but my favorite part about it, is that it bakes and browns JUST like sugar. No weird taste or consistency here folks.
In fact, I guarantee you if I made these for you, and didn’t tell you it was made using Zing, you’d NEVER be able to tell! All the great taste, and none of the guilt! Now that’s a dessert I can get behind 😉
I love how these raspberry shortbread bars are super easy to make, with not much “hands on” time. The shortbread comes together with just a plastic spatula, no mixer required folks! Once you press it into the bottom of your pan, just pop it in the oven. Spread the crust with your favorite raspberry preserves, no need to let it cool first, and sprinkle the preserves with your streusel topping. Slide the pan in the oven and let it bake while you go enjoy some “you” time 🙂
You can slice the cooled bars into however many servings you’d like… I typically go for 9 bars per pan, or 12 smaller bars 🙂
A word of caution though… once you make these bars, if you share them with anyone, they’ll be requesting them again and again…. so be prepared lol.
To really amplify the almond flavor from the crust, you can sprinkle the top of the bars with sliced almonds!
You can also use this recipe as a great base, and substitute your favorite fruit flavors… like strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, you name it!
Recipe inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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Serves: 9-18 bars
- SHORTBREAD CRUST:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp Zing Baking Blend
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 10 oz raspberry preserves
- STREUSEL TOPPING:
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp light brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Zing Baking Blend
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and kept cold
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- fresh raspberries, for garnishing, optional
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.
- To Make the Shortbread Crust:
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir the melted butter, Zing baking blend, vanilla, almond and salt together. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Mixture will be the consistency of wet sand. Using the back of a rubber spatula, press the shortbread mixture into the bottom of prepared baking pan in an even layer.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven, and increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Spread preserves evenly over warm crust.
- To Make the Streusel Topping:
- In a mixing bowl stir the oats, brown sugar, Zing, cinnamon, and flour together.
- Using a food processor, pastry cutter, two forks or your hands, work the cold butter into the mixture. Mixture should look like very coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle the streusel topping over the raspberry preserves in an even layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the preserves are bubbly and the streusel is golden.
- Let pan cool at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, then refrigerate for several hours to completely set.
- To serve:
- Carefully use the overhang of parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and slice into desired number of bars.
- If desired, drizzle bars with melted milk chocolate (see notes section below).
- Garnish with fresh raspberries and/or sliced almonds if desired.
Add chocolate chips to microwave-safe bowl and drizzle with vegetable oil. Microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring in between each burst, until chocolate is most of the way melted. Stir to let the residual heat melt the remaining chocolate.
Pour melted chocolate into icing bottle or a zip-top plastic bag. If using a bag, carefully snip a VERY small piece off the corner of the bag. Drizzle over bars as desired.
** Bars can be made a few days ahead of time and kept refrigerated. Bars can also be frozen.
** To double, double all recipe ingredients, bake in a 9x13" baking pan for 45 minutes. Continue with recipe as written.