Last week was a rough one. My husband was just getting over the head cold he had acquired the week before, and I was just starting to feel under the weather myself. Pair that with a few pressing deadlines at work, a million chores that needed to get done around the house, the aftermath of an entirely overambitious workout (helloooo muscles I hadn’t felt in months!), several blog recipes I planned to make and shoot, and a 6-month-old baby who had entered into the beginning stages of serious teething (we THINK?), and things were looking pretty glum. Mama was feeling spread a little too thin.
I was in need of a vitamin fix and some stress relief. Baking definitely serves as a “zen” time for me. Well, only when the teething baby isn’t screaming every time I set him down for longer than 30 seconds. Baking and a teething baby don’t mix, it seems.
Somehow (miraculously really), I managed to get these cute little raspberry bars prepped, baked, and taste tasted (ya know, for those vitamins I was needing) during a rare window of baby calmness. After a final dusting of powdered sugar and a few glamour shots, these were ready for the eatin’. They hit the spot. Like, REALLY hit the spot. I was feeling like I had a pep in my step after devouring one. Maybe it was just the sugar? Either way, they made me feel like all the other stuff was just a touch easier to handle. Vitamins (and sugar) are awesome.
I am a HUUUUUGE fan of citrus desserts with lemon bars being one of my top favs. So, when I was dreaming these up, I knew some sort of tart citrus had to be involved. Enter the lime, which happened to be on sale at the grocery store. The raspberries were looking extra pretty, and so I bought a bunch, and knew that these were destined to be made. Half went into these bars, and half went into…my mouth. By the handful. Again, for the anti-sick vitamins. In a pinch, you could definitely make these with frozen raspberries, too. They seem to be one of the fruits that only last for 10 seconds and rarely look good enough to buy. But I LOVE them. And I snatch them up whenever I can find decent looking ones at the store.
The lime is the perfect little tart punch in the background of these, but the raspberry flavor definitely shines. PLUS! They’re just so darn pretty, right?
They are the perfect spring-y dessert or snack. Especially when you need an extra dose of vitamins.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
1 stick of butter
¼ cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Zest of 1 lime
½ cup raspberry puree (details below)
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1⅓ cups granulated sugar
⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
Pinch of salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Fresh raspberries, for garnish
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter an 8 x 8-in baking dish. Line with parchment paper, letting the parchment hang over two of the sides of the baking dish. Spray parchment with cooking spray.
Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add the flour, salt, and lime zest and mix until combined. Press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until it just starts to lightly brown around the edges.
While the crust bakes, puree roughly 1 cup of fresh or defrosted frozen raspberries in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the seeds. Measure out ½ cup of the puree and add it to a mixing bowl.
Whisk in the flour, sugar, lime juice and zest, salt, and eggs. Stir until well combined. Pour the mixture over the crust and return the pan to the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the filling is just set. Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.
Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with the fresh raspberries, if desired, before serving.