Raspberry Chocolate Chip Bars are chewy, fruity, and chocolaty for a trifecta of deliciousness! These sturdy bars do not need refrigeration, making them an ideal choice for picnics or care packages.
For me, summer begins and ends not based on astronomical or meteorological definitions, but based on when school begins and ends. When the kids are out of school, it’s the summer. When the kids go back to school, summer is over. According to my school-in-session definition, summer has only a few weeks left around here!
School used to start after Labor Day, but not anymore. My daughter is a teacher here in St. Louis. She goes back for professional development meetings the first week in August and the students start the following week! The weatherman may still be talking about temperatures in the 90’s, but the Back-to-School aisle at Target is stocked and ready for crowds.
Despite my seasonal definition, there is no immediate end in sight for hot weather. It is still very important to pick picnic and care package baked goods carefully considering the length of time they will be exposed to heat. Nobody wants moldy baked goods!
Raspberry Chocolate Chip Bars are summer heat resistant.Traditional fruit bars, filled with a bounty of fresh summer fruits, are amazingly delicious but they don’t travel well. You need a sturdy bar that doesn’t require refrigeration. For long distance care packages in hot weather, fresh fruit is not a recommended ingredient.
Summer shipping and fruit
Don’t do it. Fruit is full of moist sugars which will cause baked goods to mold in very little time when shipped in hot weather. Instead, use recipes that provide fruity flavor without actually adding fruit. Look for recipes like Raspberry Chocolate Chip Bars that use fruit flavoring instead.
- Powdered drink mix (like Kool Aid)
- jello powder
- extracts (I love LorAnn Bakery Emulsions. The flavors don’t bake out.)
Other fruity recipes on The Monday Box for hot weather shipping
However you may be spending these last relaxing summer weeks, I hope you’ll have time to create memories with family and friends and a few sweet treats. Raspberry Chocolate Chip Bars go well with memory making!
Raspberry Chocolate Chip Bars
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter flavor vegetable shortening
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon raspberry jello powder OR 2 teaspoons raspberry extract
- 4-7 drops of pink food coloring gel optional
- ½ – 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
- 2-3 tablespoons pink and red nonpareil sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9” x 9” pan with foil extending over the edges. Spray the foil with non-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt.
- Place vegetable shortening in large microwave safe bowl and microwave about 1 minute until melted.
- Into the bowl of melted shortening add flour mixture, sugar, eggs and yolk, and vanilla extract and raspberry jello (or raspberry extract). Mix with a large spoon until smooth.
- For a pink colored bar, mix in food coloring gel.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter evenly into pan, then sprinkle with nonpareils. With fingertips, gently press the sprinkles to make sure they sticks to the batter.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
- When cool, remove from pan by lifting the overhanging foil.
- Cut into bars.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 10 days. For longer storage, do not cutting into individual bars, but wrapping the entire square.
Double wrap bars individually or in pairs in plastic wrap before placing in airtight containers or ziplock bags. Wrapping the entire pan of Raspberry Bars without cutting will preserve moisture and keep the bars chewy for longer.
Mailing baked goods in the summer requires picking recipes that won’t melt or go bad in the heat. There are many recipes on The Monday Box that were created specifically for best results with warm weather shipping. The recipes for baked goods that are made with ingredients least likely to spoil are labeled “Desert Safe” recipes. You can read more about desert safe ingredients and find an index of all of the desert safe recipes on The Monday Box by clicking here.