One of the upsides of warmer weather is all the yummy fruit that has come into season. I am a berry maniac and dedicate this post to two of my all time favorites united in one delicious cookie bar. The other afternoon I opened a jar of homemade strawberry jam, a present from aldebarina at Qwertyfood, and the sweet profume of strawberries inspired me to get cooking. The long weekend at the beginning of June and a house full of guests seemed like the right time to make this guaranteed crowd pleaser.
I used a mix of strawberry jam and fresh raspberries but just about any berry will work. Try it out and let us know what you think!
115 grams (1 1/4 cup) oatmeal
190 grams (1 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
65 grams (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
85 grams (1/3 cup packed) brown sugar
1,25 grams (1/4 teaspoon) salt
1,25 grams (1/4 teaspoon) baking soda
60 grams (1/2 cup) finely chopped walnuts
170 grams softened butter
150 grams strawberry jam
small chest of raspberries
Heat your oven to 350 F or 180 C
Step 1: Combine oatmeal, sugars, flour, salt, nuts and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir to combine the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until resembles wet sand (this is a favorite step for kids-I even let my little ones use their hands to work the butter pieces into the batter!)
Step 2: Line a square (usually around 23cm) cake pan with aluminum foil (this is an essential step for two reasons: you do not run the risk of having your cookie bar stick to the pan and cleaning up is really EASY!). Coat the foil with butter. Press 2/3 of the batter prepared in Step 1 into the bottom of the pan. I used a larger cookie pan because that is all that I had with me but the cookies come out a little bit flat this way. Hands are a must for this step.
Step 3: Cook the crust for around 20 minutes or until golden brown. I used a larger pan so my bottom crust was thin and only took around 10 minutes.
Step 4: While the bottom crust is cooking mix your jam and fresh berries together. Crush the raspberries with a fork so that no large pieces remain.
Step 5: Once the bottom crust is golden, remove from oven and cover with a layer of the fruit/jam mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining batter from Step 1.
Step 6: Return to oven and let cook for 30 minutes or until the jam is bubbling and the topping golden. Let cool for at least an hour. Use the aluminum foil to lift the bar out of the pan and make cutting easier. I trimmed of the edges to make the squares look a little more professional.
The combination of berries and oatmeal makes for a healthy afternoon snack (ignoring the butter, of course)!
Credit must be given to Cooks Illustrated for the original version of this recipe which I have Italianized and added a couple of my own touches.