Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oatmeal-fruit bars

These are a favorite treat all year long. This was the first time I made them as a Christmas cookie, and they were a big hit at work.

Lucky for me I did not take the whole pan to the office yesterday.

I will be bringing some of these to my aunt's tomorrow for Christmas dinner.
Oatmeal-fruit bars
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter
10 ounces of your favorite fruit preserve
(I used Knott's brand seedless blackberry)
Heat oven to 350.
In a large bowl combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, baking soda.
Cut in butter and mix until it forms coarse crumbs.
For me, the best way to do this is to use my hands.
But that might just be me.
Firmly press about half, maybe slightly more, of the flour-sugar-oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 pan.
Heat fruit preserve in microwave for about a minute or until softened but not hot so that it is easily spreadable.
Spread softened fruit preserves over first flour-sugar-oat layer, but not quite all the way to the edges. Leave about 1/8 inch at the edge. This will help keep the fruit from seeping to the edge and sticking to the pan during baking.
Sprinkle remaining flour-sugar-oat mix over top of preserves and gently press it down.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top gets golden brown and crispy.
Cool in pan then cut into squares to serve. If they stick a little, just run a butter knife around the edges. They usually come up OK with minimal sticking.
For cookie bars, this is best to cool completely before cutting. It needs a little time to set up.
But I have served it warm with vanilla ice cream, kind of like a fruit crumble or crisp.
For the cookie plate that I took to work, I cut these fairly small. Just about two little bites.
This time I used blackberry preserves. I have also made them with marionberry and peach. And I wonder how they would be with marmalade.
I may have to try that next time.

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