Today was the first time I'd ever made granola bars, and these were wonderful! Tomorrow my husband and another man who has a vacation cabin a couple of miles from us are planning to start cutting a trail to the river so that all of us will have an easier time of salmon fishing this summer. They are going to need some snacks, so I made this easy and delicious recipe. They are really oatmeal fruit bars, but I think I'm going to make these on a regular basis, and vary them quite a bit. Here's my recipe:
Oatmeal Fruit Bars
1 cup butter, melted
3 cups oats (quick cooking or regular)
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
10 to 12 ounces of jam or fruit butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9" x 13" baking dish (use extra butter). In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar and baking soda. Stir in melted butter and mix well. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Spread the rest evenly into the prepared dish and press firmly. The bottom of a measuring cup is helpful for this. Spread the jam or fruit butter evenly over the mixture to 1/2" from edges. I used some Highbush Cranberry Butter that I made last fall. It is similar to apple butter. YUMMY! Sprinkle the cupful of oat mixture evenly over the jam or fruit butter. Bake for about 25 minutes until lightly browned. Turn pan once during baking. Set the dish on a wire cooling rack for a bit before cutting into bars.
It's going to take some will power not to serve these for breakfast in the morning! I think next time I'll try something different. Instead of brown sugar, I'm going to try pure maple sugar. For the last two years I've been bartering with a friend in upstate NY for the most delicious maple syrup and sugar that she and her husband make. I've used it instead of all the sugar in oatmeal cookies and peanut butter cookies, so it should work well here, too.
We have some apples now, so instead of the highbush cranberry butter, next time I'll slice some apples and then sprinkle the oat mixture. I think chopped pecans would be delicious in this, too, and would make them more filling. I'm not a coconut fan, but just about anything you want to add would probably work. I was surprised at how much all of us loved these things.