Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

With very few exceptions, I’m not a fan of fruit-centric desserts. As far as I’m concerned, it injects too much “healthy” into something  I consider should be more decadent (read: Have chocolate). However, everyone’s freaking out about strawberry season, so I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon.  My co-workers/guinea pigs snapped these up with a quickness—they lasted less than a day in the office kitchen—so, I’m guessing not everyone shares my lack of enthusiasm for fructose. 

The best part about this particular recipe is that it’s super simple. Mix together a few ingredients, arrange in a baking dish, cook, cool, and voilá! If you want to go crazy, feel free to make and use your own preserves, but I went with a jar of whatever was on sale. A little high-fructose corn syrup never hurt anyone.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 sticks butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 to 12 oz. strawberry preserves

unnamed (1) Blame these terrible pictures on my impatience and my office’s terrible florescent lighting. Also, my indifference to strawberries.
DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Prepare a rectangular 9″ x 13″ pan with some cooking spray.
  2. If your butter is room-temperature, you can skip this step. However, for those short on time, just throw some cold butter in the bowl of a stand up mixer and mix on medium-low until it’s creamy.
  3. Using whatever instrument you see fit, mix together everything—except for the preserves—until thoroughly combined.
  4. Press half (maybe a little more if need be) the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  5. Spread the strawberry preserves on top.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top and press lightly.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 35 – 45 minutes, until the top begins to brown around the edges.
  8. Remove from over and allow to completely cool before cutting. Makes approximately 24 bars—or one big one if you’re going through some stuff and eating your feelings.
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