One-Bowl Baking

Back-to-School Raspberry Granola Bars From Karen DeMasco

September 23, 2019
22 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine.
Author Notes

Sure, we can technically call these granola bars because they’re made of oats and nuts and cut into rectangles, but in practice they’re more like the crumbly top layer of a fruit crisp, made into a sandwich cookie. And despite their hunky granola-like ingredient list and a near absence of technique, they have the lightness of a fine, sandy shortbread cookie. I suspect this is due to the unusual addition of flour and a little more butter than usual, and because pastry chef Karen DeMasco really knows what she’s doing.

The first time I made these, ostensibly for friends who were coming to town, the bars were gone before they’d even finished cooling. I had to bake them again the next day, and I was able to stir them together in 10 minutes, hardly looking at the recipe. I tell you this because it will happen to you, too, and now you know that you don’t have to be too threatening when scavengers start to hover. Just pull out another jar of jam (or a mix of a few) and a hidden stash of nuts, because any combination will work, and give this delicate granola bar–ish framework new character. Excerpted from Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook (Ten Speed Press, 2018). —Genius Recipes

Watch This Recipe
Back-to-School Raspberry Granola Bars From Karen DeMasco
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Makes 16 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (115g) pecan halves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups (115g) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup (65g) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (75g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (320g) raspberry jam
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C), with a rack in the center. Butter an 8-inch (20cm) square baking pan. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch (2.5cm) overhang on two opposite sides for easier lifting when the bars are done. Butter the parchment. Spread the pecans in a pie plate or on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Whisk together the flour, oats, sugars, salt, baking soda, and cooled pecans in large bowl. Pour in the melted butter, and using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir until well combined.
  3. Press two-thirds of the oat mixture (about 3 cups/470g) into an even, firmly packed layer on the bottom of the baking pan. Using an offset or rubber spatula, spread the raspberry jam evenly across the surface of the dough, leaving a 1/4-inch (6mm) border uncovered at the edges (the jam will melt and spread closer to the edges). Evenly sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the jam.
  4. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Let the granola bars cool completely in the pan on a rack, about 3 hours. (Or go ahead and sneak one while they’re still warm—they’ll be a little crumbly but so good.) Lift up the overhanging ends of the parchment paper and transfer the granola almost-bars to a cutting board. Cut into 2-inch (5cm) squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • caroberts77
    caroberts77
  • nannydeb
    nannydeb
  • Azreen Zaharin
    Azreen Zaharin
  • Sugardoll
    Sugardoll
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

69 Reviews

Sugardoll February 2, 2021
Crumbly but delicious. Made with pecans & fruit-juice sweetened seedless raspberry jam, also browned the butter. I saved all the crumbles after cutting the bars, will eat them over yogurt. My son likes them too, but isn't a huge fan of pecans, so I plan to make them again with sliced almonds and apricot preserves.
 
Donna October 12, 2020
Except for the nuts, this recipe was Originally in the Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Cookies Cookbook (its on the front cover, bottom right). I know folks tweak recipes all the time; but credit should be given where it's due. Thanks
 
Mike E. September 30, 2020
I can't believe I had this on my to-make list for the past year! These are delicious--simple to make, easy to clean up with a fantastic buttery, toasted oat crumb crust and a perfect balance of sweet and salty. Wouldn't change a thing-and relieved they freeze well to help combat lousy impulse control!
 
RachelC2622 September 22, 2020
I LOVE this recipe! It's so easy and delicious. I accidentally added the wrong amount of butter the first time and they were crumbly, but I still was going to come on here and give 5 stars--that's how amazing they are. Made them a second time correctly, and they are fantastic. I used a swirl of strawberry and apricot jams and walnuts.
 
caroberts77 July 28, 2020
Had to leave another review on these because they are one of my 'go-to' dessert type things now. I've made them with lemon curd & fresh blueberries with a little bit of rosemary in the crust and used almonds instead of pecans. Those were awesome. Last version I made was with blackberry pomegranate jam and swirls of peanut butter. In an effort to not mow them down in a couple of days, I cut them up into bars and put them in the freezer. These are so good straight out of the freezer, they don't go completely solidly frozen or anything. So it's a nice treat on a hot day. :-) I want to try them with ice cream on top next.
 
nancy O. April 28, 2020
Agree with all the rave reviews. They disappear in my house no matter who tries them. My variations: toasted the nuts - walnuts or pecans: fig jam and reduced sugar jams; a little vanilla makes everything better; sub monk fruit for white sugar and the coconut oil idea adds so much flavor. I've made them a dozen times and friends make them now too. This is the best easy recipe I've made. Genius.
 
amiantar April 19, 2020
I subbed the butter for coconut oil and they came out amazing! Going to try Tahini next!
 
Meg M. April 16, 2020
I made these for the first time this week and am now addicted. I can't wait to make them again. They are very similar to a recipe my grandmother made. I used walnuts, as I did not have pecans. I am in love with these bars, especially the end pieces that have a nice crunchy edge. Will make again and again.
 
Marjorie H. March 5, 2020
my favorite type of recipe: super easy, yummy and everyone loves no matter what type of nut or jam I've used: apricot marmalade, fig, blueberry peach, etc. like the idea to try whole wheat pastry flour.
 
Amanda February 5, 2020
These are absolutely delicious! I scrounged my pantry and had to use a mix of pecans, almonds and hazelnuts and only had strawberry jam on hand, but nothing suffered in the least - these are very versatile.
 
LSBird November 23, 2019
I've made these 4 times now and each time they receive rave reviews. My boyfriend took a double batch to his carry-in yesterday and I've had 2 requests for the recipe so far. This recipe is a winner and I can't wait to experiment more with it!
 
Ruth November 22, 2019
I made these with homemade plum jam flavored with a whole slivered lemon and some ginger root. I thought they were wonderful. A bit too crumbly; next time--and there will be a next time--I might keep them in the oven for a bit longer. I might also try chopping the pecans more finely so they act as more of a binder. But in general: yum.
 
caroberts77 November 17, 2019
I made these last night for a work thing on Monday. I used whole wheat pastry flour and homemade pumpkin butter in place of the jam. I used this recipe, cut in half and wine instead of cider, https://food52.com/recipes/24496-harvest-spice-pumpkin-butter. Turned out really well. It was a bit saltier than I was expecting, but all I had was fine sea salt and probably should have reduced that. Sampled some for breakfast this morning, quality control ;-) Really liked the shortbread aspect and the crumbly streusel-like topping. Will definitely make this again.
 
caroberts77 November 17, 2019
Made these last night for a work thing on Monday. They turned out great. A little saltier than I was expecting, but all I had was fine sea salt, probably should have reduced that a bit. I used whole wheat pastry flour and homemade pumpkin butter in place of the jam. I used this recipe, cut in half and wine instead of cider, https://food52.com/recipes/24496-harvest-spice-pumpkin-butter Sampled some for breakfast, quality control ;-) Really liked the shortbread aspect and the crumbly streusel-like topping. Will definitely be making this again.
 
caroberts77 November 17, 2019
Arg, thought I'd lost my review and so I had to try to type it again from memory and then my previous effort showed up. Sorry for the double review!
 
Bb November 3, 2019
This the third time I’ve made these bars in a week. They are easy and delicious!! I’ve tried different jams and blackberry is the favorite (so far). Thanks for the recipe
 
jansob November 1, 2019
Made these last night for a party and everyone loved them. I found them too sweet for my taste. I'll try making them again with maybe half as much sugar and see how they turn out. Has anyone tried making them with less sugar?
 
Azreen Z. February 6, 2020
Third time making these I reduced sugar to 60g and instead of brown sugar, I used molasses sugar (70g). I also reduced the jam to half amount. Winning combo for me and rave reviews from those who tried them!
 
Nancy M. November 1, 2019
These are very good but after 50 minutes in the oven they were still too soft and crumbly for me. I put the bars on a cookie sheet, spaced about an inch apart, back into the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes and now they are perfect.
 
Tamara October 30, 2019
I keep looking for oatmeal things to eat. I truly dislike oatmeal. This recipe was a hands-down winner. I couldn't wait to eat them after they cooled down so I am sitting here devouring them hot out of the oven...might go back for a second piece. I made the recipe as is, in a springform pan as I do not have an 8x8. This will be in regular rotation. Thanks!
 
nannydeb October 17, 2019
This morning I needed something for a bake sale at work, but I didn't have pecans and only had quick oats, which worked just fine. I subbed toasted slivered almonds and used my homemade plum jam and they were delicious! Sold out too!
 
Elizabethdx October 16, 2019
These are delicious and also fun to make. I used apricot preserves and added dark chocolate — mm! The only problem is that all I want to think about now are other variations. Sour cherry and almond? Rhubarb or strawberry-rhubarb? Thank you Karen de Masco!