Double Cherry Oatmeal Bars
An oat cookie crust is topped with a sweet filling made with sliced almonds, cherry preserves and dried cherries.
Oat Cookie Crust:
1 1/2 cups quick or old fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup sliced unblanched almonds
1 (10 to 12-ounce) jar cherry preserves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup dried cherries
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Combine all ingredients for crust, mixing well. Reserve 3/4 cup of oat mixture and set aside. Press remaining oat mixture in a greased 9x9-inch baking pan.
- Bake crust 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown; cool on wire rack.
- Stir almonds into the reserved 3/4 cup oat mixture; set aside.
- In medium bowl, combine cherry preserves, lemon juice and almond extract. Stir in dried cherries; let stand 10 minutes.
- Spread cherry mixture evenly over crust. Sprinkle with the reserved oat mixture; press lightly into cherry filling.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until nicely browned on top. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered at room temperature or freeze.
Makes 24 bars.
- Flavor Variation: Sprinkle 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or white chocolate chips over cherry filling before topping with the oat mixture.
- If using 8x8x2-inch pan, increase baking time to 35 to 40 minutes.