Adult Raspberry Pop-Tarts, Otherwise Known as Raspberry Oat Bars
There's a great little coffee shop in Saugatuck, Michigan called Uncommon Grounds. It's been there since 1994 and has great coffee and really delicious sweet treats. Recently, Anja and I discovered their raspberry bars, and lately, every time Anja and I were shopping in Saugatuck, we'd stop in for a coffee and would inevitably share one. It didn't take long to realize we needed to make some raspberry oat bars ourselves.
So we searched for recipes online and in our countless cookbooks. We asked friends for their recipes and asked to see the ingredient list of the bars at Uncommon Grounds. And then we started to experiment.
We started out using American Spoon raspberry jam, which of course is delicious because everything they make is so good, yet it was just a tad too tart. Anja suggested Smucker's and I balked, but she was right; Smucker's seedless red raspberry jam was perfect. And when the raspberries are ripe here in West Michigan, we intend on making Miss Edna Lewis's Sugared Raspberries and trying those in our bars.
We experimented with ground nuts in the crumble and vanilla in the crumble, and decided no nuts but definitely vanilla. I adore vanilla and it's easy to sprinkle over the crumble as it comes together in the KitchenAid mixer. We tried old-fashioned rolled oats and quick cooking oats, and decided either works; the rolled oats make for a chewier bar. We tried strawberry jam, and that was good, too. Next, I'll try some lemon curd for Jonathan. I've now made it so many times, I can put one together in about 10 minutes flat! Sounds like a good thing, but my waistline says it might be just a bit too easy.
After making about my 10th batch, I kid you not, I suddenly realized why I loved them so much. They reminded me of the Pop-Tarts I loved so much as a kid!
Now for our recipe that we adapted from America's Test Kitchen.
1 1/2 Cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (3 3/4 ounces) quick oats or old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks- 6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
1 cup seedless raspberry jam (we like Smucker's) stirred up in a cup for easier spreading
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 350 (180c) degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil- use 2 pieces so the edges hang over all 4 sides of the pan. Spray the foil with oil spray with flour.
2. In a stand mixer, mix the dry ingredients (first 6 ingredients) together with the paddle attachment, or use a wooden spoon and a mixing bowl and mix it by hand. Next, add in the butter and mix with the paddle attachment or by hand, until the mixture resembles wet sand. Sprinkle the vanilla over the crumble mixture and mix it in.
3. Next, put two-thirds of the mixture in the baking dish and press it down forming a crumble base. Bake it for about 20 minutes until it is just starting to get golden. Take it out of the oven and spread the raspberry jam evenly over the base and sprinkle the rest of the crumble over the top of the jam. Bake until the jam is bubbling around the edges and the crumble is nicely browned- about 30 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then use the foil as a handle to lift it out of the pan and let cool on a wire rack. Let it cool completely for easiest cutting, or just start eating it as soon as you dare, like I do.