13 August 2008

Cherry Berry Oatmeal Bars

I keep trying to find a way to start this entry and I'm failing miserably, so we'll start this way -- I love me some berries and cherries. Summer fruit is my favorite. Cherries, strawberries, blackberries...I want 'em all. Imagine my delight to find a recipe in Cooking Light this summer for Cherry Berry Jam. All the recipe calls for is cherries, berries, lemon juice, and sugar. I decided to give it a whirl and it turned out pretty well. I should have let the jam simmer for a little while longer, but I'm ridiculously impatient and that resulted in a pretty thin jam that I now refer to as a spread. After using the deliciousness for the topping on our breakfast toast for two weeks straight we still had a ton of the jam left over. I turned to BakeBakeBake for some help and found this recipe.

Cherry Berry Oatmeal Bars

1 cup whole wheat flour [all-purpose would work, also, but I had to use up my wheat flour]
1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4-5 tablespoons of butter

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9x9 inch baking pan. Combine flour, oats, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Cut in the cold butter until a crumbly mixture is formed. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Spread as much jam as you would like over the bottom layer, but be sure to leave a 1/4 inch edge so the jam doesn't bubble over the topping. Sprinkle the remaining mixture over the jam and press lightly into jam. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

These were good. Not phenomenal, but definitely not bad. They were very tasty warm but I actually preferred them a day or more later. The bars took on a chewier texture and held together much better than on the first day. I would be more enthusiastic about these bars but I much prefer cakes and brownies than something like this. But if you have some extra jam or jelly or whatever to use up I would recommend these oatmeal bars. They make a nice, light alternative to heavier and more decadent desserts...and they're healthier!

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