Monday, 22 February 2010

Strawberry and Oatmeal Squares

The Great Book of Chocolate

Last couple of weeks all I have been thinking about was baking; baking something that would last quite a long while and something that shouldn’t be eaten to prevent it from getting spoiled. So, I thought of baking some cookies. It will gratify my baking temptation and will last quite long as well. So I Started googling and googling, stumbled upon many scrumptious cookies, but when it come to the ingredients, I would be missing one of a few ingredients. So I approached my all time favourite cooking guide, for help. I went through the cookies and shortbreads and finally was all set to bake these Bars. Well, again I didn’t have all the ingredients mentioned in the recipe, so I have to adjust myself with the available ingredients. The recipe I followed was that of Raspberry Oatmeal Bars. I didn’t have raspberry Jam, so I ended up using strawberry jam.

I guess the change in the ingredients must have not made a big deal in here. Whatever it is, the result was an awesome cookie full of richness on its own. The Strawberry Oatmeal Bar had three layers- a rich buttery bottom layer layered with sweet strawberry jam and then a crumbled oatmeal crust. The bottom layer was slightly chewy and the crust was crispy. It very well complimented with the sweet Strawberry Jam. But one thing what I would like to put in notice is the sugar level in the bars. May be my strawberry jam was a bit too sweet, the bars were slightly on the sweeter side. So, You may reduce the sugar level slightly if need be, but if you are using tangy jams or preserves like raspberry or blueberry you may use the full amount of sugar as mentioned in the recipe. It’s all up to you, how sweet you like your bars to be.

Strawberry and Oatmeal Squares
Recipe adapted from:


Oatmeal Base:
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup plain granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (Maida)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats, divided
1 cup Strawberry jam or preserves (homemade or store bought)

Preparation:1.Preheat oven to 175 degrees C and place rack in center of oven. Butter (or use a non stick cooking spray) a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) pan. Set aside.

For the Oatmeal Base:
1. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes).

2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.

3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix using a wooden or steel spoon until well combined.

4. Stir in 1 3/4 cup of the rolled oats. Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.

5. Spread the strawberry jam (preserves) over the oatmeal base.The jam will be just enough to form a thin coating over the base.

6. To the remaining dough add the remaining 1/4 cup of rolled oats.

7. Crumble this mixture evenly over the top of the strawberry jam. Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Let it cool completely and then cut into squares. Makes about 16 - 2 inch squares.

These are best if made the day before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
1. Make sure you cut the bars once they are well cooled, else it will be difficult to cut them since jam will be too soft and wobbly and you wont get perfect squares. Let the jam cool and set, bofore slicing.
2. Since I dint not have a 9 x 9 Pan, I used a 9 x 12 glass pyrex dish,but filled accordingly almost 3/4 of the pan.
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