January 2, 2008

sugar, spice, everything nice

(aka squares of cinnamon, oats, and raspberry bliss)


After a month in NY, I finally have everything I need to bake! My first excuse to cook was a welcome-back treat for my co-workers. I told them that I loved to cook, and the overwhelming response was, “Well, we love to sample!” So, I decided to make something using a product from our parent company—raspberry preserves.


I had seen a delicious looking recipe and I had all the ingredients on hand (it was snowing too much for me to venture to the store), so I went for it.

I followed the recipe pretty closely, making minor adjustments (more cinnamon!!) here and there. Come along with me, won’t you?

Here are the players:


Pretty standard for baked delights. I first combined the dry ingredients—2 ½ c quick oats, 1 ¾ c all-purpose flour, 1 c brown sugar, 2 t cinnamon, 1 t salt, and ½ t baking soda—in my bowl:




Then, I added 1 c melted butter and 1 t vanilla, and stirred it all up:


After pulling out and reserving 2 cups of the crumbly goodness, I mushed the rest of it into my greased 13 x 9” pan:


Next came the preserves (about 1 cup). They were extremely stiff, so I popped them into my trusty microwave for about 30 seconds and then spread them on top of the bottom layer:


The reserved crust mixture got sprinkled on top…


…and then I chucked the pan into my noisy and scary oven, preheated to 375 degrees.

After 25 minutes, the bars came out looking like this:


Enchanting.

I let them cool completely, and then cut them into tiny squares so everyone at work could partake. I think they were fabulous—just enough cinnamon to make me purr, sweetness and tartness from the raspberry preserves, and a nice crunch from the baked oats.




I won’t lie—they were devoured and I got a lot of compliments. I just hope that warm, fuzzy feeling carries over for the next couple of days when we’re supposed to be having sub-zero temperatures…


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