oh, the great thrill of the oatmeal bar. i love you. that lovely combination of crunch, of soft, of oaty chew, and of jammy goo.

nothing like evening sunshine slathered between oats and sugar

this week has been craziness. delightful, social, warm. i feel like spring has sprung, for real this time, leaving me barely a moment to stop and admire the beauty of the outside transitions. i feel like the bees: scattered, busy as ever, eager, humming along.

somehow, i managed to make some oatmeal bars in the midst of current crazy. these bars, dear friends, took me to the stars. how calming and basic! jam bars have been on my “to-do” list for quite some time. with lots of jams in our fridge, i wanted a fun way to work them out into the world more creatively than on a piece of toast. so these bars came in three varieties: strawberry (made at nanny and poppy’s last summer, with the crimson jewels we picked together which also debuted in these muffins… i wanted to finish the jam before strawberry picking 2010!), pink banana squash marmalade, and apricot jam. my favorite? the pink banana squash, for sure. that giant squash appeared in so many culinary creations, how i’ll miss it! good thing we’re growing some on the farm this year…

tomorrow, we check the bees at earthworks. and, we’re making splits on the hives! i believe those oats and jam will give me some grace, sustenance, and calm as ms. malasky and i do our thing.

oatmeal bars for the stars

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 grates of fresh nutmeg
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups oats
zest of one lemon
1 1/2 cups your favorite jam

1. heat oven to 350. butter a 9×13″ pan (i don’t have one! so i did an 8×8″ and a bread making pan…)
2. pulse first seven ingredients (through butter) in a food processor, or combine with a pastry mixer, and dough is crumbly.
3. add the oats and lemon, pulse twice (or mix a few times) to combine

into the cuisinart!

in with lemons and oats!

in with lemons and oats!

4. press 2/3 of the dough in the bottom of greased pan. spread jam over top, evenly. sprinkle remaining dough on top, and press down lightly.

spread that jam!

5. bake until golden, about 20 minutes. then let cool fully before cutting, about 2 hours. enjoy!

hooRAY for sunshine and pink banana oatmeal bars