Monday, June 25, 2012

Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars

I had two reasons for making these bars.
The first was that ever since I started baking, I look at lots and lots of food blogs for recipes and ideas. Every time I search through recipes, one comes up for crumble bars. These bars are a layer of buttery, crumbly dough, topped by some sort of fruit or jam, and then finished with a layer of "crumble," usually made out of the same dough as the bottom layer. They look delicious and summery, and they were always on my to-do list. Until yesterday.
The second reason for making these bars (you do realize I'm just trying to justify my adding another pan of buttery baked goods to our kitchen?) was that I was looking for something to bake, so I went to one of my favorite food blogs, 17 and Baking. This was the first recipe I saw, and it looked perfect for what I had in mind; it was quick, summery, and (most importantly) yummy!
I loved how these came out. They are crumbly and a little thinner than I thought they would be, but still delicious. When I was in the middle of baking, I realized I had bought strawberry jam instead of raspberry - oh well! I cut down the butter by one tablespoon because that was all I had (whoops!), but I think it would have been even better with the original amount. Despite these bars being very sweet, they have an addictive quality to them! They also gave me lots of new ideas for flavor combos...
Enjoy! <3
Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars
(Slightly adapted from 17 and Baking)

1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 oz (10 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, then add the butter and pulse until a dough starts to form. Blend in the milk. (If you don’t have a food processor you could do this with an electric mixer, a pastry cutter, or even a couple of forks or knives.) Transfer the dough-bits to a bowl and knead in the oats until well combined.
Put 3/4 cup dough off to the side (this will be used as the crumble.) Press the rest of the dough evenly into a buttered 9×9″ metal baking pan (Or line with parchment paper). Spread the jam evenly over the top (if the jam seems tough to spread, heat it up a little to thin it.) Crumble the reserved dough evenly over the top.
Bake in the center of the oven until golden, 20-25 minutes, and cool completely in the pan on a rack. Use a knife to loosen the sides, lift it out, and cut into bars on a cutting board.

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