Raspberry Streusel Bars with White Chocolate

Wowza friends - these bars are insane! The base is the best buttery/sweet shortbread on earth (you could stop right there and be happy). Then, there's a layer of fruit preserves, followed by a sugary/crisp/cinnamony streusel and drizzle of white chocolate. I fell madly in love in one bite.
I'm not kidding. I was floored - and I make bars and desserts all the time. I think it's the combination of sweet shortbread and sugary streusel, sandwiched by fruit preserves. The fruit perfectly balances the sweetness of the other two layers!
And there are endless variations you can make here. First, you can use any fruit preserve you desire, so try these bars with other flavors. Strawberry, peach, blueberry, blackberry, apricot, orange - even grape - would all be amazing.

You can also switch up the chocolate and use milk or dark for the drizzle. Truth is, these bars are so sensational, you don't even NEED the chocolate drizzle. That said, you could also use vanilla frosting.

Since I'm confident you will fall madly in love with these bars, consider making a double batch. If you decide to double the recipe, use a 9×13-inch pan and bake the bars for 40 to 45 minutes (instead of 30 to 35).

Got leftovers? Doubtful, but if you do, the bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the bars for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Raspberry Streusel Bars with White Chocolate

For the shortbread crust and filling: 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raspberry preserves
For the streusel topping: 
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut up

1/4 cup white chocolate chips or melting wafers

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides to make "handles". Set aside.
To make the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix until blended. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the crust from the oven, and increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
While the crust is still warm, spread the preserves all over the top.
To make the streusel, in a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Mix well. Work the butter into the oat mixture with a pastry blender, two forks or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the streusel over the raspberry topping. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the streusel is golden brown and the raspberry filling is bubbly.
Cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature before topping with the white chocolate. Melt the white chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, or in the microwave, checking and stirring every 20 seconds. Use a fork or small spoon to drizzle the white chocolate all over the streusel. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
Use the foil or parchment paper "handles" to remove the bars from the pan. Cut into 12 or 16 bars and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer (see note above).
Makes 12-16 bars