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Since the summer heat finally broke in New York this weekend, we decided to have people over for a summer backyard party.  We laid out blankets in the back yard and opened some bottles of Rosé and relaxed the day away with friends and family.  It was GLORIOUS!  I like to prep some food the day before so that we can sustain ourselves through the day and one of my new favorite treats are my Raspberries & Cream Oat Bars!  It's pretty easy but should be made before hand since it's best cold and probably impossible to cut into bars if it hasn't been chilled for a few hours.  

Before I get into the recipe, here are some tips for prep:

  • Let cream cheese, eggs and butter sit out for an hour or two to get to room temperature - it will be a lot easier to use and it helps everything else come together.

  • When combining the filling, beat together the sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and cream cheese first using a hand mixer. Then FOLD IN THE EGGS at the last step. This will give the filling more body.

  • Lastly, after stewing the berries in sugar on low, you will have some excess liquid - I like to drain most of it before spreading it over filling. It's also very helpful to let this mixture cool a little before adding to your filling layer (at least 15 min.)

Now for the ingredients:

Oat Crust and Topping:

  • 1 cup butter

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 2 whole eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cup oats (I use gluten free oats)

  • 1 1/2 cup flour (I use gluten free 1-4-1)

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp slivered almonds

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 2 packages cream cheese

  • 1/2 cuper sugar

  • 1 whole egg

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1/2 lemon juice

Quick Raspberry Jam:

  • 2 packages fresh raspberries

  • 1 tbsp sugar

In a saucepan, combine raspberries and sugar and heat on low setting.  Stir often and gently break up some of the fruit.  This will become a liquid jam like mixture that will give your berries some sweetness and allow for best spreadability.  Let cool.

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking pan with parchment and grease the sides with butter, set aside.

To make the crust, combine butter and sugar and cream together.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix together all of the other dry ingredients EXCEPT ALMONDS (you will add those to the topping).  Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Separate about 2/3 from the batch and spread it evenly into the pan, reaching all the corners and sides.  Put into heated oven for 5 minutes.  

Mix the filling together (see tips above for best results).  Spread over the crust evenly.  

Now take your raspberry quick jam and spoon out the berries all over the cream filling - don't dump the whole thing in one place, this will make the batter very uneven and hard to work with.  Then use a spatula to lightly combine the berries into the cream cheese filling.

Add the almonds to the left over 1/3 batter for the topping and crumble the mixture onto the cream cheese and berries layer.  I usually take a ball into my hand and pull it apart with the other hand and place onto the layers.  

And there you have it!  Pop it into the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the crumble top forms and is golden around the edges.  

Let cool for an hour or two and place in the fridge to harden before cutting into bars.  ENJOY!