In the past several weeks I made two monumentally bad choices. Probably more, but these two will probably haunt me the rest of my life. The first mistake was trying salt n’ pepper pistachios for the first time. Please hold your judgement until you find out the other thing I’ve never had before. Pistachios pale in comparison. I think since I first cracked one of those salty nuts I’ve taken down an average of a pound of them a day. No exaggeration. I’ve blown thru three 5 pound bags of those evil snacks in about two weeks. Fifteen pounds of nuts? That’s crazy! I just can’t get enough of them.
The second (and far more shocking) new thing I tried was coffee. Yes. I’ve lived in Seattle my entire life. And in 32 years I’ve never once felt the need to caffeinate myself with roasted beans. Actually, I really don’t even like the smell of coffee. No Starbucks concoction has ever tempted me. No mocha-carmel-frappa-whathaveyou was enticing. Until this weekend.
I had way not enough sleep and needed to be awake and functioning for many more hours so I decided coffee might just be the answer. I’ve been making lattes for my hubby for a year or so, and decided to whip up one for myself this time. So, a vanilla latte when down the hatch, much easier than I expected and (I found out later) way too quickly. My hands started shaking and my entire body felt like there was electricity running thru it. I couldn’t even string a sentence together because my brain felt like it had a short circuit. No bueno.
I vowed never to drink coffee again, but then I made these oatmeal bars and as I tasted one, the strangest thought entered my brain. “A latte would be really good with these.”.<gasp!> This is how it happens isn’t it? Right there in that moment is how addictions begin. And do you know what? I was right. My second coffee beverage DID go very very well with golden oats and sweet raspberry. I also drank it slower, which gave me a very nice buzz and no hand shaking. Oh dear.
With just a few simple ingredients, you too can experience one of these delightful bars with your coffee. Start with brown sugar, flour and oats.
Mix in a stick of butter.
I like to use my hands to get the butter all blended in. It’s way easier than a pastry blender and much more fun.
Press most of the mixture into a foil lined pan.
Top with raspberry jam and spread out until about a quarter inch from the sides. Don’t push it all the way to the edge or you’ll discover just how closely jam resembles glue. Seriously – it will stick like nobody’s business.
Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top and press lightly. Then bake to golden perfection.
The foil sling is essential to getting these out of the pan all in one easy piece.
Cut into bars once they’ve cooled slightly.
Enjoy these for breakfast (with coffee!) or a snack (with coffee!) or dessert (with coffee if you want to never go to sleep ever again and really like staring at the ceiling trying to get your brain to shut off at 1o’clock in the morning). Yeah, did I mention my first latte was consumed at 6pm?
The toasty buttery oats and sweet jam are magical together and you will love these! Do not however eat them with salt and pepper pistachios. The flavors are not at ALL complimentary. Trust me on this one. Stick with the coffee.
Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam (I used regular seeded jam…and they were just delicious)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 8 inch square pan, and line with greased foil.
- Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Rub in the butter using your hands or a pastry blender to form a crumbly mixture. Press 2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top, and lightly press it into the jam.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.