Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sunday Bake of the Week: Oatmeal Fruit Bars

This sunday I wanted to reinvent a recipe I've used many times.

For my birthday this year, my sister in law gave me the cookbook Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld (yes, Jerry's wife!), a great book that introduces different ways to include various fruit and vegetable purees into everyday food. This recipe originally called for blueberry preserve and spinache puree, but ideally you could use whatever jams/preserves you have at home. Bear in mind though, if you're going to use a strong tasting vegetable like spinach, that you use a strong tasting fruit like blueberries to hide the taste.

Oatmeal Fruit Bars

2 cups quick oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter
1 cup fruit jam/preserve (I used apple butter)
1/2 cup vegetable puree (I used apple sauce)

Preheat oven to 375 F and grease a medium sized baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the butter and vanilla, and combine with the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles small peas. It is okay if some of the butter is showing. Put most of the mixture into the greased pan, setting aside a little less than 1/4 for later. Using your fingers, press the oatmeal mixture firmly into the pan.

Bake until the crust is just lightly browned at the edges, about 13-15 minutes.

While it is baking, mix together the fruit preserve with the vegetable puree. One the crust edges are browned, spread the fruit/veggie mixture evenly over the top, and sprinkle what is left of the oatmeal mixture over that.

Bake for another 20-25 minutes. Let the bars cool almost completely in the pan before cutting, and enjoy!

Try as many different variations as you can think of! I've also made it with strawberry jam and squash puree, and next time want to make it with raspberry and yams!

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