THESE BARS! They are life-changing. Sweet and jammy and crumbly. And also really easy to make!
I first had a similar bar at a class we were taking at our church. I spent the majority of the time before and after class standing over the pan, and I do not exaggerate when I say I single-handedly hoovered at least a third of it. Husband can corroborate.
It's like the most delicious, crisp and crumbly, buttery-brown sugar pie topping got smooshed into a baking dish and baked. Actually that's pretty much exactly what these bars are.
Did I also mention these are really easy to make?? SO EASY. And the ingredients are regular pantry items, so this is a good recipe to keep in your back pocket for when you need to make a dessert (or breakfast!) item and don't want to make a special grocery trip for it.
First, you make a crumble out of butter and flour and oats and brown sugar and baking powder and salt. If you have a pastry cutter, this is a good time to whip it out. If not, settle in for a good hand work out. You gotta work that butter in until it's all nice and combined and butter is EVERYWHERE.
Then dump half of it into a (buttered) 9 by 13 baking dish and pack it down.
Next, you'll spread strawberry jam around on top of the packed-down crumble to get a nice, even layer of preserves. ALSO you could use any type of jam here. I am partial to strawberry because it's what I first had during that fateful day of church class when my oat-crumble bar obsession began, but I think so many other types would be good as well - raspberry, blackberry, apricot, apple, etc.!
Once you've spread the jam on, sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture on top and pat it down lightly so that it's set in the jam, but still crumbly. Then bake it!
Let it all cool to set, then cut into bars and dig in!
I love that these bars are reminiscent of a fruit pie, but are also good year round - and not just during berry season - because they use jam.
I've seen similar bars labeled "healthy," which I find to be a little bit of a stretch because they are pretty much just butter and sugar and jam with some flour and oats added in. So I won't call these healthy. I will call these ridiculously simple and delicious and will also fully support them being eaten at breakfast. Because there are oats! And jam!
Strawberry Crumble Bars
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
- 10 - 12 ounces strawberry preserves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter pieces using a pastry cutter or your hands. Work in the butter until a fine crumble is formed.
Press half of the oat mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spread with strawberry preserves. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture and press lightly.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until oat topping is lightly browned. Cool completely and cut into squares.
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.