Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oatmeal-Raspberry Bars


There are some really great things happening with my blog in the next few weeks (thanks to my AMAZING friends Brad and Zach) and I thought with the new re-vamp of the blog, I could try to improve upon my picture-taking skills. I decided to take advantage of the last few hours of daylight today and experiment with my camera, which I still haven't really figured out. It's just a point-and-shoot Canon camera but I know that there's much to learn. I experimented a bit in New Hampshire but I don't really remember what all of the settings do! Ah well.

Today I made Real Simple's Oatmeal Raspberry Bars with a few tweaks of course. I'm sure I've mentioned this numerous times but when baking, my mom always says you can reduce the amount of sugar and she is right! I definitely did that today, increased the amount of oats, and added an extra ingredient :)

Ingredients:
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup seedless black raspberry jam (the original recipe calls for regular raspberry jam but I couldn't get mine open!)
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter an 8 inch square baking pan.


When greasing square pans I always make sure to put extra butter in the corners because that's usually where they fall apart. And you know me - I need things to look pretty!

In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt to combine.


Add the butter and pulse just until the dough comes together. This seemed like A LOT of butter. In the future, I plan to reduce the amount of butter by at least 2 Tablespoons.



Prior to owning my own food processor (or living with someone who had one), I always hated when recipes called for food processors. I will say, that even if you don't own one, as long as you have patience and time, this recipe is very do-able. Just whisk up the first three ingredients. Then cut the butter into little pieces, add it to the bowl, and using two knives, cut up the butter in the flour mixture until it's pretty well-incorporated.

When it came out of the food processor, I realized that I didn't pulse it enough so the bottom looked like this:


So it wasn't completely pulsed but it was no problem!

Transfer to a bowl and gently knead in the oats and coconut.


Actually, while I was getting out my oats from my cupboard, my container of shredded coconut fell on my head and I took that as a sign to add them in there. So, in went a tablespoon of coconut to the dough!

Press all but 1/2 cup of the dough into the prepared pan. Spread the jam evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the edges. Scatter the raspberries over the jam and sprinkle with the remaining dough.


Bake until the edges are golden, 25 to 28 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before slicing.




I wasn't sure how these would turn out since I had reduced the amount of sugar in the dough, but I just figured I could dust confectioners sugar on top of the bar in case it wasn't sweet enough, but it totally was! Also, I would advise not to put the 1/2 cup of dough on top of the raspberries because they don't brown very well and just looks really confused on top...

But I would definitely call it a success!

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