Strawberry Oat Bars with White Chocolate

The first Friday of every month is now one of my favorite nights to go out in Oakland, thanks to Art Murmur. It’s held in downtown Oakland, and every month it seems like there are another 100 people in attendance! The main event is multiple art exhibits in several small galleries concentrated in a few blocks on Telegraph Avenue. There are also bands, street performers, and local vendors of everything from vegan daal served out of one big pot to handmade jewelry. The majority of people attending seem to be ages 18-35, but there are plenty of families, children, and older people as well. And, as with anything in Oakland, you can find people of many races, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds all mixed together in one beautiful melting pot!

My friend Ottilia and I decided that we were going to sell some baked goods to try to make some extra cash. She had a surplus of carrot cake cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting, and I wanted to try out a recipe I recently saw on Tasty Kitchen, which is part of the Pioneer Woman’s blog. Tasty Kitchen is a great place to find tons of new recipes from many different sources. I have found quite a few gems there!

These Strawberry Oat Bars were easy and yummy! They have a nice sweetness from the jam, fruit, and chocolate, but also a heartiness from the oats.  I decreased the amount of sugar since I knew the jam would have lots of sugar in it.  I would love to try making them again with some whole grain flour to make them even healthier.  Cut into tiny squares, these would be perfect for a tea party!

Strawberry Oat Bars with White Chocolate

Ingredients

-2 cups old fashioned oats
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
-4 oz strawberry jam
-1 tsp lemon zest
-2 cups strawberries, chopped
-3 oz white chocolate

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, both sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. Add the chopped up cold butter and work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture is in small crumbles. Reserve 1 cup of this mixture in a bowl.
3. Press the remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased pan (the recipe calls for a jelly roll pan, which I don’t have, so I used a 9×13 inch glass dish).
4. Bake in the oven for 12-13 minutes or until it is firm to the touch. Do not brown.
5. Remove pan from oven. Warm the jam in the microwave for 30 seconds, then stir in the lemon zest. Spread the jam over the crust. Sprinkle the strawberries on top. Sprinkle the reserved cup of crumbs.
6. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crumbs on top are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 hour.
7. Drizzle the chocolate on top of bars. Cut into squares. Enjoy!

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