It’s the beginning of August, and already the ‘s’ word has crept into our daily conversations.
Fresh school supplies are amassing in a corner of the kitchen, and the girls have weeded their closets to make room for the new.
How is it we always seem to be looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope? Nostalgic for summer before we’re even half done with it.
I’ll pretend these Apple Oatmeal Bars have everything to do with the appearance of the early apples, and nothing to do with days growing shorter or the discovery of a red leaf on the maple tree out front.
They make a good snack or dessert at any time of year.
(The base can be used with all kinds of fillings. Play around with what you’ve got on hand to create your own variations.)
- 1 cup / 250 ml oatmeal
- 1 cup / 250 ml whole wheat flour
- ½ cup / 125 ml brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml baking soda
- ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml salt
- ½ cup / 125 ml butter
- ¼ cup / 60 ml olive 0r vegetable oil
- ½ cup / 125 ml chopped nuts (optional)
- ⅓ cup / 80 ml brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml cinnamon
- ½ cup / 125 ml raisins or dried cranberries
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 large apples, peeled cored and diced (about 3 cups / 750 ml)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 176 degrees C.
- Lightly grease a 9x9-inch / 23x23 cm baking dish.
- Stir together oatmeal, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.
- Cut butter into small squares and toss with flour mixture. Cut in with pastry blender or two knives (or in bowl of food processor) until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle the oil over and mix in with a fork.
- Set aside 1-1/4 cups of the mixture in a small bowl. Stir nuts (if using) into this reserved topping.
- Press the remaining flour mixture into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F / 176 degrees C.
- While base is baking, prepare the filling.
- Combine the ⅓ cup / 80 ml brown sugar, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, raisins or cranberries, beaten egg and chopped apples in mixing bowl. Stir until thoroughly blended.
- Spread apple filling over the baked base.
- Top with the mixture that has been set aside.
- Return bars to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the bars are golden brown.
- Remove from oven, and let bars cool before cutting into bars.