Monday, May 6, 2013

Strawberry jam crumb bars

There's something about running that really makes me want to bake.  Specifically, watching other people run.

I want to show my support for them.  I want to clap my hands, shout and cheer for them!  I want to somehow give them all of my energy when theirs is in short supply so they can feel refreshed and have the strength to stride toward the finish line.  

And, when I've clapped, shouted, and even chased down a few friends for sweaty hugs and high fives, I'm famished!

That was the case yesterday after watching people of all kinds run in yesterday's Pittsburgh marathon.  (For those present, glorious weather and a fantastic city, right?!)  We hooted and hollered and even marveled at one particular runner who was juggling as he ran.  Yes, juggling.  I actually shouted at him, "You make me feel like less of a human.  You rock!"  Because that was the honest truth.  He laughed and smiled and kept on his merry way.  

After watching so many people creating memories of a lifetime and accomplishing an incredible goal, I went home to create something of my own -- dessert.

Sweet and chewy strawberry jam crumb bars chock full of plump oats!  

Good golly, Miss Molly.  These bars. Are. It.  Just sweet enough that you know you're savoring a perfect anytime dessert.  But, not too sweet that you'll feel like you've just undone whatever hard work you've put in for swimsuit season.

...even if you eat two or three.

What's funny is that earlier that morning, I'd gone out for a long run myself and was feeling alive, refreshed, and ready for a day of healthy eating.

But, oats are a runner's best friend, aren't they?  Filling and fueling healthy complex carbohydrates.  Perfect for runners and spectators :) 

Three years ago: Chocolate pound cake

Jam Crumb Bars
(adapted slightly from Eat, Live, Run)
-yields 12 bars

A few notes: The original recipe looked to yield delicious thin yet crunchy bars.  When it comes to oatmeal baked goods in the Zeglen household, we are team chewy.  That considered, I increased the amount of butter to yield a more chewy and fluffy bar cookie with great success!  I also halved the original recipe and adapted it to an 8-inch square pan.  Finally, feel free to use whatever jam you like or mix a few kinds! 

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup oats (I used old fashioned, but quick would work, too)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup jam of your choice (I used strawberry)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat 8-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda until well mixed.  Using fingers, cut cold butter into dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and there are no large pieces.  

Press a little over half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Spread jam over crust evenly and sprinkle with remaining crumbs.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove pan to wire rack and allow to cool for 25 minutes before cutting.  Slice and serve and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. There is no word to describe these. So I am forced to make one up. And I am going to do so. Right. Now. Scrumtrulescent. These bars are scrumtrulescent.