Raspberry-filled White Chocolate Bars

            Raspberry-filled White Chocolate Bars

½ cup butter
1 bag (12 oz) white vanilla baking chips (2 cups) or 12 oz. white chocolate baking bar, chopped
2 eggs
½ cup sugar
1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp almond extract
½ cup raspberry spreadable fruit or jam
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted *

Heat oven to 325°.  Grease 9-inch square pan or 8-inch square glass baking dish with shortening or cooking spray, lightly flour.  Melt butter in a glass bowl in the microwave.  Remove from heat.  Add 1 cup of the baking chips (or 6 oz. chopped baking bar).  LET  STAND;  DO  NOT  STIR.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer on high speed until frothy.  Gradually beat in sugar until lemon colored.  On medium speed, beat in baking chip mixture.  On low speed, beat in flour, salt and almond extract just until combined.  Spread half of batter (about 1 cup) in pan.  Set remaining batter aside.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

Stir remaining 1 cup baking chips (or 6 oz. chopped baking bar) into remaining half of batter; set aside.  In a glass bowl, melt spreadable jam in microwave.  Spread evenly over warm, partially baking crust.  Gently spoon teaspoonfuls of remaining batter over spreadable fruit.  (Some fruit may show through batter.)  Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake 25 to 35 minutes longer or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.  For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

* To toast nuts, spread on ungreased shallow pan and bake at 350° for 6 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until light brown.

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