What’s for dessert? Raspberry squares!
Raspberry squares are a great way to use local berries at the peak of the season.

What’s for dessert? Raspberry squares!

BELLOWS FALLS — Local berries are beautiful and bountiful right now, so if you have 15 minutes, make a small batch of raspberry jam for this recipe. Of course, you can use jarred as well!

The squares are intensely buttery, but raspberries are certainly the star. If you turn your back, this dessert has been known to vanish into thin air!

¶1 cup unbleached white flour

¶{1/4} tsp. baking soda

¶{1/4} tsp. ground cinnamon

¶{1/2} tsp. salt

¶{1/2} cup brown sugar

¶1 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick cooking)

¶{1/2} cup butter, at room temperature

¶1 tsp. vanilla extract

¶1 cup raspberry jam (recipe below)

¶Coarse sugar, optional

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prepare an 8 in. x 8 in. baking pan. Butter and line the pan with parchment paper, overlapping two opposite sides by a few inches. Butter the parchment as well; it will help you to remove the whole thing when done to make for easy cutting.

With a wire whip, mix the flour, soda, cinnamon, salt, and sugar. Add the oats, butter, and vanilla, and mix with your hands, until the butter is evenly distributed.

Press two thirds of the mixture into the bottom of the pan, as evenly as you can.

Spoon the jam in dollops over the top, and spread evenly almost to the sides. Crumble the remaining oat mixture on top, making little clumps, and pressing lightly. Sprinkle with a little coarse sugar, if you like.

Bake for 20 minutes and turn the pan. The kids like these with a sprinkle of chocolate chips tossed on at this point in the baking process.

Check again after 15 minutes - it will probably need 5 minutes more; it all depends on your oven. You want the top to brown, but don't let it get too far!

Let cool to room temperature - this is the only hard part. Remove from the pan with your little handles, and cut into squares.

For the jam: Mash:

¶2 cups of raspberries

lightly with a potato smasher, leaving some texture. Place in a deep kettle and bring to a boil.


¶2 cups of sugar

¶pinch of salt

Mix well and taste. If your berries are really tart, you might need up to an extra cup of sugar. If your berries are at peak and nice and sweet, the 2 cups will probably be fine. This is never an exact science.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes. You will want to reach about 220 degrees, or when you drop {1/2} teaspoon or so onto a chilled plate, it will gel up and actually look like jam.

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