Around this time of the year, like many others, I start to bake holiday cookies. I usually bake some classics; like shortbread or cream cheese cut-out cookies that I frost with either buttercream, or ice with a glaze. However, I like to get a little creative each year, and bake a cookie or bar cookie, that’s a bit more unique, and this year I made these crunchy dark chocolate raspberry bars that I think you’ll truly enjoy.
The base and topping of the cookie are made in one big bowl using your hands, so there’s no machinery required to create this dessert. I used a dark cocoa powder to give this bar cookie it’s fascinating texture, and rich chocolaty flavor, which will remind you of the outer portion of an Oreo cookie. Some other unique things about preparing these bar cookies is that they are made with a combination of butter and olive oil to achieve that crunch. There’s something that happens when you use two kinds of fat in baked goods. First, it elevates the taste quotient and secondly, it seems to crisp and tenderize the crust, which I find is a big textural advantage in many desserts.
The raspberries are fresh, but you can substitute frozen defrosted, if necessary. I did squeeze in some chocolate chips into the filling, so that an additional pop of chocolate would be a nice surprise in every bite. I think these bars are so fun to cut into squares and serve after dinner with coffee or another glass of red wine, but they would be an excellent choice for a cookie swap, or given as gifts because they travel well. I find the dark color of these bars are so inviting, especially with the bits of ruby red raspberries peaking through.
Crust & Topping
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder, I used Hershey’s Dark
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
pinch of salt
15 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups fresh raspberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, I used Ghirardelli
(Makes 16 Squares)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 9 x 9 square pan with foil or parchment with edges hanging over sides.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Add diced butter and using your hands, work butter into flour mixture until dry coarse crumbs. Add olive oil and press together until moist crumbs.
- Add 2/3 of dough to bottom of pan and press evenly to form a crust. Bake for 8 minutes in oven, remove.
- In a bowl combine raspberries, sugar and chocolate chips, stir. Pour over crust and spread out evenly.
- Take remaining dough and crumble over top of bars to mostly cover. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until top is slightly bubbling. Remove and cool completely before slicing. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!