Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Oatmeal Jam Bars

Oh my, it's been awhile!

One might think that I have forgotten to feed the Mr. and the Cherubs!

While I haven't forgotten, I certainly haven't had the time to cook as I normally do.

I'm currently getting to do what I also love . . . and that's fulfill a long-term subbing position.

It is extremely rewarding.

However, when I do these, I have to put something to the back-burner.

Like cooking . . .

and other household work.

For example:  it's mid-March and I just took down my Winter decor.

Notice I didn't say, "Christmas."

"Christmas" -- as in tree, Santa, and presents, went away in January.

"Winter," on the other had -- as in snowmen, evergreen, and pine cones stay through . . .

well . . .Winter!

Thankfully, Spring decor doesn't take nearly as long to put out!

Unless you are like me and you re-do the look.

I really try not to do that, because it doesn't come natural or easy for me.

Take my mom . . .she's a whiz at that kind of stuff.

She can't cook -- but she can decorate.

Me . . . I can cook, but I can't decorate.

Pair us together and we can do a smash-up job!

Speaking of cooking, these oatmeal jam bars are delish!

Once I found the recipe, I've put it in a very special "make again" file!

Warning:  they're great as dessert.  They're great as breakfast.  They're great as a snack.

Summary:  they won't last long!

I make them gluten-free, but I'm thinking as easy as they are, you could use regular flour in place of the gluten free.

But I wouldn't know that!  If you try, let me know!

Oatmeal Jam Bars

1 1/3 cups gluten free flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum (leave this out if you don't make it gluten free)
1/2 cup of butter, softened, cubed
2 TBSP packed brown sugar
1/3 cup nuts, chopped fine
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2-3/4 cup preserves**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using an 8x8 pan, line the pan with foil so that the edges hang over the pan.  This will allow you to remove the bars easily.

Using a mixer, blend the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, salt and xanthan gum together.  Add the butter, a bit at a time, mixing until a dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Reserve 1/2 cup of dough.

Press the remaining dough in the pan, gently smooshing it evenly on the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until beginning to turn brown on the edges.

While that is baking, take the reserved dough, add the brown sugar, chopped nuts and oats together.  Use your fingers or two forks to work it together to make crumb topping.

Once the crust is beginning to brown, remove from the oven and top with the preserves.  Gently spread the preserves evenly over the crust.

Top with the crumb topping.

Return to the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes.

Let the bars cool completely in the pan before cutting.

This will be a temptation . . .because you are going to want to try it!

But wait!  It's worth the wait!

** I have used Bonne Maman preserves.  It looks like this below.  You can find it at almost any place you buy groceries.

 Image result for bonnie preserves

I've also make my own strawberry topping, as in for ice cream, and I have used that as my preserves.  There is nothing wrong with either!

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