Fresh Gluten Free Raspberry Bars

This flavorful, mouthwatering dessert is a great summer time recipe for any event. The lemon zest in this dish really brings out the refreshing raspberry flavor.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 45-50 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours
Serves 16

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in 1-inch cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1 (12 oz) box gluten free sugar cookies
1/2 cup gluten free multipurpose flour or tapioca flour
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam or preserves
2 cups (1 pint) fresh raspberries
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp gluten free multipurpose flour or Tapioca flour
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp finely shredded lemon peel (zest)
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp powdered sugar (optional topping)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving extra foil extending over ends; set aside.
2. In large bowl, beat the butter until it just begins to blend, about 30 seconds. Add salt, just mix it-don’t try to cream it. Add cookie mix; mix with your hands until dough is an even consistency, and can be made into a ball. Mix well to prevent crumbling, don’t be afraid to over mix this recipe.
3. Spread dough onto prepared pan; use fingers to press dough into an even layer. Bake 20 minutes or until dough has begun to puff. Cool for 5 minutes. Lightly brush parameter of the crust with softened butter to keep crust from sticking to the foil.
4. Spread jam evenly over crust. Sprinkle evenly with raspberries.
5. In large bowl, beat cream cheese. Mix in granulated sugar and flour until blended. Add egg, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla, mix well. Beat until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture on top of prepared crust and move the pan side-to-side to spread evenly.
6. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes more. Raspberry bars are ready when the top appears firm. Chill on wire rack for 1 hour. Transfer to refrigerator for 2 hours. Carefully remove bars from pan by lifting the bars with the extra aluminum foil on the sides. Place bars on serving dish. Cut into 16 bars or smaller bite size pieces to share. Enjoy!

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