I'm continuing on my quest to find yummy desserts for bentos that have some redeeming, healthier ingredients in them.
Now, I'll be honest, these recipes aren't health food. They do involve things like butter & flour & sugar. I'm just looking for ones that also use fruits & veggies, granola, etc, so there is a little something good in them. We use these as a treat and not to take the place of fruits & veggies, but a little extra good stuff never hurt anyone, right?
I have a ton of fresh fruit in the fridge right now and a big bag of real oatmeal that I bought at Sprouts. I started out looking for an oatmeal muffin recipe to go with the strawberries, as all 4 of us like strawberries. Somehow, in the process of looking, I started seeing recipes for strawberry *bars*. That sounded even better, so the hunt continued for one that used real strawberries, not strawberry jam. I finally found a few, and decided on the one that I actually had the ingredients for in-house.
Aren't they beautiful with the chunks of real strawberry peaking through?
I baked these last night and they are so good! They were very simple to make but bake longer than I expected (40 minutes). Shaun had one last night and said they were good, the kids sampled this morning and are wanting more. I just like granola/oatmeal bars in general, so I was happy.
Fresh Berry Oatmeal Cookie Bars:
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups oats
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with baking spray.
In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and oats until well combined. Add butter to bowl and rub with hands until a crumbly dough is formed. Divide dough into two portions.
Press half of dough into bottom of pan.
Cover with sliced strawberries in an even layer. Sprinkle with cornstarch.
Sprinkle remaining dough over the top, and lightly press.
Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and set.
Allow to cool before cutting into squares.
My note - I was wondering about the cup of butter/cup of sugar being a bit on the high side, except it does make a huge pan of bars. Divided out by the size of the pan, it's not unreasonable. For the top layer of dough, I rolled it out on the counter with a rolling pin to flatten it, then scooped it back in with a spatula. Much easier and I didn't dislodge our nice rows of strawberries.
Faith's note - "Tell them to make sure you cut them very carefully because you don't want them to crumble and have to eat them off the table." OK, she got the first one out of the pan and it crumbled a bit, the rest of them are fine!
We have a full 9x13 pan of bars, so the yield all depends on how big you cut them.
Check out the dessert tag for some of our other experiments!