Over the weekend, we went camping with some good friends in subzero temperature at night. Not really… we were in Shenandoah, but going from 80 degree days to 30 degree nights was brutal. Fortunately the company was well worth it!
My friend and I were sharing school lunch woes, which motivated me to come home and make these Oatmeal Jammy Bars for lunches this week. Reality is, we’re two days into the week, and they’re already gone. But it was a strong start and a nice break from the normal “grab a bar, some fruit, maybe a veggie and call it lunch” routine.
The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but I use a combination of whole wheat flours to boost nutrition. You can use only all-purpose flour if you can’t stomach whole wheat.
I’ve used a variety of jams, and they’re all good. My pantry is overflowing with Peach Vanilla Bean Jam from peach-picking at the end of the summer, so I tried that this time. I have a peach-averse child, so I was thinking he might resist. He came home from school and said, “Mom, these bars are SO good,” and I said, “Haha, ‘stinker’, they have peach jam!”
Oatmeal Jammy Bars
- 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup ground almonds or pecans (optional)
- 1/2-1 cup fruit jam
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish.
In a large bowl or food processor, combine the flours, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Pulse or stir to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture and cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two kitchen knives until the mixture is moist and crumbly (or pulse in food processor until it looks like coarse sand). Add the oats and nuts, if using, and stir to mix evenly (don't use food processor here - just a spoon).
Press two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam as evenly as you can over the top - using 1/2 cup if less sweetness is desired, 1 cup for more (I use closer to 1 cup... whatever it takes for the jam to be all over in a thin layer. It will look messy, but don't worry - the jam will spread as it bakes). Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture evenly over the top, and press down lightly.
Bake until the top is golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack, and then cut into bars.
Source: slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Family Meals Cookbook by Maria Helm Sinskey