old-fashioned oatmeal bars

A portable snack that’s easy to make, kid-friendly and made a bit healthier by using whole-wheat flour. It’s super versatile and works with just about any flavor of jam or preserves so use whatever flavor your family likes the best. 

1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups oat-fashioned oats
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar  
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons cold water
1 17.5-ounce jar apricot jam

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with butter. Line pan with parchment paper, making sure that2 sides hang over edges by about 1 inch (this will allow you to easily pull bars out of pan). Grease parchment paper with butter and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, add flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse to just combine, 1-2 pulses. Add butter and water and pulse just until butter is size of small pebbles (mixture will be very loose). Do not over-mix. 
  3. Place 1/2 of mixture on bottom of prepared pan and gently press to compact it. Spoon jam over dough and use a warm spatula to evenly spread over top (this will be a bit messy but spatula helps spread it out). Place remaining 1/2 of mixture over jam, pressing down slightly to cover top of jam. Bake until edges are lightly golden brown and jam is starting to bubble around edges, 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 16 squares.

cook’s note: Bars can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days or refrigerated for up to 1 week.