Like most kids, mine love a little sweet treat tucked into their lunchboxes. I don’t include a dessert every day. But when I do, I love when it can be homemade.
Ever since I saw this video for Katie Morford’s new book Best Lunch Box Ever, I’ve been wanting to make these Oatmeal Bars. So when I got my own copy, I flipped right to the recipe. She calls for sour cherry jam inside the bars, but I used homemade blueberry jam (recipe here). I think they would be delicious with just about any flavor.
These bars taste like little handheld bites of fruit crisp. You need to make these bars! Your big and little people will love you for it.
You can enter to win a copy of Best Lunch Box Ever on my blog right here (plus a chance to win a stunning range for your kitchen). Or get a copy through Amazon here. Find more of Katie’s recipes and advice on her blog Mom’s Kitchen Handbook.
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup sour cherry jam [or a flavor of your choice, such as raspberry or apricot]
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper so that it drapes a couple of inches over two sides.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt and stir with a fork. Add the butter and, using an electric mixer on low speed, mix until the ingredients form a uniformly crumbly mixture, about 45 seconds. Add the walnuts and continue mixing on low speed until they are evenly distributed, about 5 seconds.
- With your hands, press two-thirds of the dough firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. (If the dough sticks to your hands, cover it with a piece of parchment paper as you work.)
- With a spoon, spread the jam evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the remaining one-third of the dough evenly over the jam. You will see the jam peeking through.
- Bake until the top is deep brown and the jam along the edges begins to darken, 45 to 50 minutes.
- Let cool in the baking pan for 30 minutes.
- Run a knife along the two sides of the pan that don’t have an overhang of parchment paper. Grab the two ends of parchment paper and carefully lift out the sour cherry oatmeal square and transfer to a cutting board.
- Cut into 20 bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the pantry or 2 weeks in the freezer.
Photo by Jennifer Martine