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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Raspberry Jam Squares

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Today is my dad's birthday. My mom gets mentioned frequently on the blog, in part because we bond over cooking and food and entertaining, but that doesn't discount who my dad is or how much our family loves him. If I live my life with half the generosity, the liveliness, and the love that my dad showcases on a daily base, I will consider myself a success. My dad is one of those people who can bring a smile to anyone's face, who doesn't have an enemy in the world, and who, quite literally, brings joy to any room he enters. I love him dearly and offer daily thanks to God for letting him be MY dad!

...and now that I've waxed poetic about my father, I want to talk about his mom, my Grandma Gorski. I have such fond memories of visiting grandma and grandpa's house growing up, spending hours playing with all of their cool toys. My grandma tirelessly put up with our frequent requests to play doctor (she and grandpa were always our patient patients!), to explore the dusty attic, and to try our hand at the player piano in the basement. Somehow, in between all of this, she managed to cook three big meals for my grandpa (and us!).

Although I've always enjoyed her food, I have much more of an appreciation for it now. When we last saw her over Christmas, she served these raspberry jam squares and I begged her for the recipe. I've had a lot of jam bars in my day, but these are my favorite ever. The buttery crust is accented with chopped walnuts and the jam filling includes chopped raisins, which sounds strange but I swear it's the secret ingredient! Raisin haters, I promise you won't even notice they're there...I don't recommend messing with the perfection here!
Thank you Grandma for this perfect recipe, and for raising my dad to be the man he is today!

One Year Ago: Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Two Years Ago: Crockpot Pulled Pork (using Pork Chops)

Raspberry Jam Squares
from Grandma Gorski
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup oats
-1 cup chopped walnuts
-3/4 cup melted butter
-1/4 cup chopped raisins
-1/2 cup raspberry jam

1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in sugar, oats, and walnuts, mixing to combine. Add melted butter and mix until well-combined.
2. In a small bowl combine the raisins and jam, stirring to mix.
3. Grease a 7 x 11 inch pan. Press half of the flour mixture into the bottom of the pan. Spread jam mixture over the top. Sprinkle with remaining flour mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Place on a cooling rack to cool before cutting into squares.