Oatmeal bars and I are good friends – we go way back. I’ve loved Oatmeal bars since I was a kid. While all the others kids turned their noses up to them because they are made with “oatmeal,” I happily snacked away. They really had no idea what they were missing. Ha ha! All you oatmeal haters, you have no idea what you’ve been missing! These bars are delicious – even if I do say so myself.
Oddly enough, oatmeal cookies of any variety (we’re not choosy) are a favorite for my husband, too. Well, maybe I am choosy – I love oatmeal cookies, too but not the raisins. Those dastardly little things hiding out pretending to be rich, dark chocolate chips. I’m so totally on to you! Even though I’m suspicious, I still do get misled on occasion. (grrrrr!) But not with oatmeal bars. Nope, there’s never any raisins lurking there.
The best part of these Oatmeal Bars is just how ridiculously easy they are to make. The second best is – well maybe it’s tied for first I can’t decide – is just how delicious they taste. So far, I prefer the Strawberry Rhubarb jam over any other jam flavor we’ve tried; the flavor of the jam just has a certain comfort food quality that is thick and both sweet and slightly tart at the same time. Together with the chewy, slightly salty crust it’s the perfect sweet & salty combination. Like a granola bar – only better!
The crust layers are formed from just a few simple ingredients – oatmeal, brown sugar, butter and a smidgen of salt. Nestled between the crust layers is a small batch of Strawberry Rhubarb jam I made while I was on vacation. It’s the bomb-diggity. If you don’t care for strawberry rhubarb jam, you can use any jam you please. I like this one the best so far but my next foray into Oatmeal Jam bars with be with fig jam. Just sayin’. I hope they taste like old fashioned fig bars my Mom would buy at the bakery when I was a kid.
Instead of making two full oatmeal cookie layers, I like to dot the top of the jam layer with the remaining crumble and bake it so that the jam rises up and peaks out from between the layers. I think t makes for a more pleasant presentation of these bars. If you prefer full on crust on crust layers, by all means go for it.
As you can see here, I also line my pan with foil. this makes lifting the entire square of bars out of the pan after baking so much easier. My Teflon bakers ban really thanks me for it, too. No scrapes or scratches here, friends. I learned that lesson a long time ago.
Anyway, here’s what the finished product looks like. Care for a taste? Soooooo good.
These Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars are:
Give them a try, I’d love to hear what you think.
- 1-1/2 sticks cold butter, diced
- 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cup regular rolled oats (not quick cooking)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 jar (10 to 12 ounces) Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9" x 9" or 8" x 10" baking dish with cooking spray. Line with foil for easily lifting the bars out of the pan (optional).
- Mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- With a pastry cutter or a fork, or your hands, cut the butter into the oatmeal blend until it resembles coarse crumbs. Pour a little more than half of the mixture into the pan and pat lightly with your fingertips or a fork to pack it down to form the cookie base.
- Spoon the strawberry rhubarb over the surface of the cookie and use the back of your spoon to spread it evenly around.
- Top with the remaining oatmeal mixture.
- Bake until light golden brown on top, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely in pan.
- When cool, use the aluminum foil to easily lift the entire cookie out of the pan. Peel the foil from the base and cut into squares or triangles.
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