My neighbor brought over a pint of strawberries the other day that were way on sale at our local grocer, presumably because they had less than a day left in their natural life before going mushy. Since I happened to have picked up a pint of my own from the same grocer that same morning, I decided to use them for a little treat for our two households to share, and I came up with these bars.
Typically, oatmeal bars are made with jams instead of fresh fruit. They are also often very sweet, but I cut about half the sugar that is recommended in other recipes and topped the bars with a drizzle of yogurt glaze. The result is a mildly sweet and tangy oatmeal bar that won the hearts in our homes that night.
2 cups rolled oats
1 c. flour
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 c. cold butter, cut into small chunks
1 pint strawberries, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/4 c. jam (I used a homemade cranberry jam with a very nice tang, but raspberry or strawberry would be fine)
sprinkling of sugar (optional)
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/8 to 1/4 c. powder sugar, to taste
1 t. vanilla
Pre-heat your oven to 375° F. Using the butter wrappers, grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 glass baking dish. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. With a knife, your fingers, or the pastry blade on a food processor, cut or rub the butter into the oat mixture until a coarse mix is formed that will stick together, but is not over-blended. Press two-thirds of the oat mixture evenly into the bottom of your greased dish and bake for about 15 minutes, just until the edges begin to brown. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, sprinkle the sliced strawberries with about a teaspoon of sugar, just to get the juices flowing. Then add the jam and stir to combine. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Spread the strawberries evenly over the half-baked crust, then sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture over the top. Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes more, until the filling is bubbly and the top is browned. While hot, drizzle the yogurt mixture over the top of the bars with a spoon or small piping bag – you may not use it all, so reserve the rest to eat over granola or fresh fruit. Allow to cool completely before cutting and store in the refrigerator or freezer.