I love the idea of raspberry oat bars. They're classic. They're simple. They're made with oats and I love their crumbly crust. But, I often find them too sweet and quite frankly, uninspiring. Starting with Real Simple's recipe as a base (http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/oatmeal-raspberry-jam-bars?print=), and using the inspiration of a blood orange in my fruit basket, I came up with this combination, which feels both homey and more adventurous. Fig stands in for raspberry though if you're a die-hard raspberry fan, would still work fine. Whole wheat flour adds nuttiness to the crust while cardamom adds a touch of warmth. Up the amount of cardamom if you want more of its heat and feel free to use a regular orange, orange in place of the red blood orange if that's what you have on hand. —rachelRS
whole wheat pastry flour
light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 cups
whole, rolled, oats
blood orange zest, piled high
butter, melted and slightly cooled
1-1 1/2 cups
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9x13 inch half pan with foil or parchment paper being sure to leave a 3 inch overhang on all sides. This will enable easy unfolding when the bars have cooled.
Mix together the flours, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, oats and zest in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and incorporate into dry ingredients, forming a wet-sand-like "dough" and eliminating any dry pockets.
Press 2/3 of the dough firmly into the prepared pan. Starting with 1 c, spread jam evenly over the unbaked crust. Add up to 1/2 cup more of jam depending on how jammy you want your bars. Sprinkle remaining dough/crumble over the jam layer and gently press down.
Bake until golden brown and jam is bubbly around edges, 20-25 minutes. Cool on completely on rack then cut into bars and enjoy!