Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

This isn’t my first time posting about rhubarb. I get really excited when rhubarb becomes available each summer because I love making pies, cobblers and shortcake. But here is another way to incorporate rhubarb into your summer desserts – strawberry rhubarb oatmeal bars. The best part about these is if you don’t eat them all the same day you make them, they make a great breakfast the next morning with a smoothie or some eggs.

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Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients (makes 20-30 bars)
Strawberry rhubarb compote-
3 cups of sliced strawberries
3 cups of sliced rhubarb
3/4 cup sugar
1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
6 teaspoons corn starch
1.5 teaspoon vanilla

Dough-
1 and 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger (I skipped this because I didn’t have it)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups rolled oats (make sure to use the original ones, not the quick cooking ones)

1. Start by making the fruit compote. In a pan on the stove, add all of the compote ingredients and mix with a spatula or wood spoon. Cook for 8-10 minutes over medium heat until the rhubarb is soft when you touch it with a fork. Once done, set aside to cool while you prepare the dough.

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2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your 9 by 13 baking pan by lining it with foil. Make sure the foil hangs over the edges of the pan to help you remove it later. Then spray the foil with cooking spray.

3. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a bowl and set aside.

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4. In your stand mixer, beat the butter for a minute until smooth. Add both sugars and beat again until smooth. Scrape down the sides and add the eggs and vanilla. Mix again.

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5. Now add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add the oats and mix with a spatula.  Scrape down the sides.

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6. Press 3/4 of the dough into the baking sheet you prepared earlier. The dough is very sticky, so I recommend using a spatula to press the dough down. I sprayed the spatula every little bit with cooking spray to make it easier.

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7. Put the bowl with the remaining dough in the freezer for 20 minutes. While the dough is chilling, spread the fruit compote on the dough in the pan. Then crumble the cold dough on top.

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8. Bake for 50 minutes until the dough on top turns golden brown.

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9. Let the bars cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before removing the foil from the pan.

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10. Once you remove the foil from the pan, I would recommend waiting another 10-20 minutes if possible before cutting them so they don’t crumble.

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