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Last week I had several requests for the chocolate raspberry oat bars I mentioned in my cookbook shelves post. So that's what today's Weekend Cooking is all about.
The recipe comes from Quaker Oat's Favorite Recipe Collection, which was published on the company's 120th anniversary. The great thing about these bars is that the fruit flavor comes from preserves, so you can use your favorite or whatever you happen to have on hand. (Note: measurements are U.S. standards)
Chocolate Raspberry Squares
Yield: 36 squares
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ cups Quaker Oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, chilled and cut into pieces
¼ cup chopped almonds (optional)
¾ cup raspberry preserves
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup (3 ounces) vanilla milk chips or semisweet chocolate chips (optional for drizzling)
1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugars, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup oat mixture for topping, set aside. Press remaining mixture onto bottom of ungreased 8-inch square pan. Bake 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir almonds into reserved oat mixture.
2. Spread preserves evenly over partially baked crust to within ¼ inch of edges; sprinkle evenly with 1 cup chocolate chips and then sprinkle the reserved oat mixture on top. Pat topping gently. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
3. If desired, melt the vanilla or chocolate chips and drizzle over the top. Let bars stand until set. Cut into bars and store tightly covered.
Beth Fish's notes: I'm usually too lazy to drizzle any chocolate on top and the bars don't really need the extra chocolate. I've used different preserves, but my favorites are raspberry and apricot.