Barefoot Contessa: 4 Ina Garten Bar Recipes That Are Picnic-Perfect

Looking for something sweet to take on a picnic? Try one of Ina Garten’s bar recipes. The cookbook author has multiple recipes for bars that’ll satisfy almost any sweet tooth. Bring along a Barefoot Contessa salad for a Garten-approved picnic menu. 

1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

First up is a classic Barefoot Contessa recipe. Garten’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are a dessert version of the classic childhood sandwich. Unlike cupcakes, they don’t have to be transported with lots of care making them the perfect addition to any picnic. Garten first featured these in her 2006 cookbook, Barefoot Contessa At Home

Ingredients for the Barefoot Contessa’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Extra-large eggs
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Raspberry jam or other jam
  • Salted peanuts

Here’s how to make them. Cream together the butter and sugar. Next, add in the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter. Sift together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet and mix until combined. Layer the batter and the jam in a cake pan and sprinkle with the peanuts. Bake and let them cool completely before slicing. 

2. Lemon Bars

A perfect Barefoot Contessa recipe for spring, Garten’s Lemon Bars are a bright addition to any picnic. They were first listed in Barefoot Contessa Parties!, Garten’s favorite cookbook she’s ever written. 

Ingredients for the Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Bars: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-large eggs
  • Sugar
  • Grated lemon zest
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Similar to the Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars these start with combining the butter and sugar. Then sift the dry ingredients and slowly combine the two mixtures to make the dough for the crust. Chill it before baking. While it’s in the oven prepare the filling. Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, sugar, eggs, and flour. Pour the filling over the crust and bake. Let cool then cut and dust with confectioners’ sugar. 

3. Raspberry Crumble Bars

These bars from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof are simple to make. “It’s basically shortbread and raspberry jam together,” Garten once said on an episode of Barefoot Contessa, according to Food Network. 

Again, start by combining the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla. Use Garten’s recipe for homemade vanilla extract or use Nielsen-Massey, her recommended store-bought brand. Sift the flour and salt together before adding it to the mixture to form dough. 

Spread the dough evenly over the bottom of a cake pan and cover with jam and granola. Sprinkle with almonds and bake. Cool them before slicing and sprinkle with Confectioners’ sugar. 

Ingredients for the Barefoot Contessa’s Raspberry Crumble Bars: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Raspberry jam
  • Granola without dried fruit
  • Sliced almonds
  • Confectioners’ sugar

4. Apple Pie Bars

This is another Cooking for Jeffrey dish. Basically apple pie in bar form these are a great alternative to the classic American dessert. 

Ingredients for the Barefoot Contessa’s Apple Pie Bars: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Granny Smith apples
  • Golden Delicious apples
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ground nutmeg

First combine the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Sift the flour and salt together before adding it to the mixture. Press the dough into the bottom of a cake pan, being sure to save some for later, and chill before baking. 

Make the filling by cooking the apples, sugar, lemon juice and spices on the stovetop. Spread the filling over the crust. Mix the remaining crust with nuts and sprinkle over the top. Bake and let cool completely before serving. 

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