I saw these bars when I was flipping through one of those little cookbooks that you pick up in the grocery store. I have no idea when this particular cookbook was purchased. Both my husband and I would pick up these sorts of things at the store. When we got married, we found that we had quite a few duplicates. I don’t remember buying this one, so maybe it was one that my husband bought. At any rate, these looked really great. My husband likes cherries so I thought I would give these a try.
These are an oat crumble bar with a cherry filling. I didn’t even need to use my mixer for these. I assembled everything together while I was making dinner, and it didn’t even take that long. My 10 x 15 inch baking pan had fairly shallow sides. I used to have a pan with true 1 inch sides, but I have no idea where that pan has gone. I was worried that it wouldn’t work, but I figured that this wouldn’t spill over too badly. I used a mixture of dried cherries and cranberries, since I didn’t have a full cup of dried cherries. The original recipe also had a chocolate drizzle, but I didn’t think it needed any more sweetness.
These were simple to put together and did just fine in the pan that I had. They do need to cool quite a while before cutting. I let them cool for 2 hours and there were still a little too warm to cut. They really are soft and fairly delicate until they are cool. Boy, these are really sweet! I have a pretty high tolerance for sweet and these are almost too much. Maybe the chocolate drizzle would add another layer of flavor, or maybe it would be even sweeter. They have a good pronounced cherry flavor, which I like. They are a little greasy on the bottom, so I think that you could get by using less butter. Overall they are pretty good.
2 cups water
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries, chopped
2 cups oats
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter
½ cup coarsely chopped sliced almonds
24 oz. cherry preserves
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Bring the 2 cups water to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the dried cherries and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Drain completely and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve one cup of the crumbs. Stir the chopped almonds into the reserved crumbs and set aside.
Press the remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased 10 x 15 inch baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes.
While the crust is baking, combine the dried cherries, cherry preserves and lemon zest. Once the crust has come out of the oven, top with the cherry mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining crumb/almond mixture. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
Recipe from Better Homes and Garden Homemade Cookies