I stumbled across this recipe (courtesy of allrecipes.com) when Shaun told me he wanted a dessert that involved raspberries. That fruit is not really in season at the moment and I don't particularly like using frozen fruit in desserts... so raspberry preserves would end up working out in my favor! I always read user reviews for different recipes that I try out online - I find them very informative. Based on some that I read for this recipe, I decided to add a few extra ingredients for more depth of flavor - as you can see below. These bars are extremely easy to put together and bake up in no time!
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup raspberry jam
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one 8 inch square pan, and line with greased foil. You definitely want to use greased foil or you will have a big mess not worth cleaning up!
2. Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and rolled oats. Include the additional ingredients with the ones above. Rub in the butter using your hands or a pastry blender to form a crumbly mixture. Press 2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top, and lightly press it into the jam. This is an important step to ensure that the bars won't fall apart.
3. Bake for 35-40 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars. Once they come out of the oven, they are softer and pliable but after sitting out for 10-15 minutes they harden up.
If you want a dessert bar that is not too sweet, these are for you - OR if you want something different for breakfast - why not right?