The school year is in full swing here in St. Louis. Actually, it’s been in full swing for a while! Teachers in some districts went back as early as August 3rd! According to my books, when school starts, fall starts. Yes, I know it’s still a zillion degrees outside, but I still associate back to school season with fall, so I’m just going to pretend it’s happening. Bring on the fall baking, pumpkin beer, college football, and cool weather! Most of the buildings I work in are super nicely air conditioned, so I tend to bring along sweaters and long sleeves. However, at the end of the day I am quickly reminded of those zillion degree temps as soon as I step outside and am smacked in the face with St. Louis humidity. Sigh, I guess I’ll hold off on breaking out the boots for another few weeks.
If you’re like me, the hankering for an after school snack still exists when you’re an adult. These delicious snack bars are super easy to make and a perfect way to satisfy that afternoon craving. You can replace the preserves in the middle with any flavor that you like. There are still a few good peach crops left this year, so that might be a nice way to say goodbye to summer flavors. Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, rhubarb, peach, and apple all work, so go with your favorite jam!
Happy back to school to all students, teachers, parents, staff, and anyone else who works in education! It’s going to be a great year. Oh, and sorry it’s been forever since I’ve posted. I’m sure you can tell whenever I’m back to work due to the decreased number of blog posts. More deliciousness coming your way sooner rather than later.
Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Recipe Adapted From: Ree Drummond
Prep Time: 20 min. Cook Time: 45 min.
2 cups flour
2 cups oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces
1 jar (17 oz.) strawberry preserves
1 cup sliced strawberries + 1 tablespoon sugar
In a small bowl, combine sliced strawberries and one tablespoon of sugar. Stir to coat strawberries with sugar and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9 x 13″ glass pan. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Add the pieces of butter to the mixture and use your hands to work the butter through the mixture until most of the mixture is moist from the butter, with some dry crumbs remaining.
Dump half the mixture into the buttered pan and press so that crumbs stick together. Next, spread the preserves in an even layer on top of the first layer. You might need to use your fingers here, depending on the thickness of your preserves. Be sure to get the edges, too! Dump the other half of the mixture on the preserves, spread evenly, and lightly press.
Arrange sugary strawberries on top of the bars. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the bars are just starting to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing.