Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Are you ready for Valentine's Day? I prefer to keep it mellow with a nice dinner at home, a bottle of wine, and some homemade treats.  If you plan on making treats too, and are looking for something a little bit different than the usual Red Velvet Cupcakes (although those are delicious), then give these oatmeal bars a try. They make a perfect treat to go along with coffee in the morning, or as a snack in the afternoon. They are also plenty sweet enough to serve as a dessert. 

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Serving size: 9 x 13

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
14 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 - 13 oz. jar strawberry preserves
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides so the bars can be lifted from the pan later. 

In a large bowl, mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together.  Cut in the cold butter using a pasty cutter or your hands until the butter is the size of peas. Press half of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. 

Stir the preserves in the jar (to make it easier to spread), and spread the preserves in an even layer on top of the oat mixture. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top and gently press into an even layer. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once cool, lift up on the parchment paper to remove the bars from the pan. Use a cookie cutter to cut into shapes, or slice into bars. Store in an air-tight container. 

Source: adapted from Pioneer Woman

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