Happy Endings

Every once in a while, I yearn for a fruity treat after dinner. When that's the mood that hits me, I usually opt for one of two sweets: fruity ice cream or fruity oatmeal bars. This dessert recipe has been a long time favorite in my household. There's something wonderfully simple about the combination of strawberries and rhubarb -- a tried and true combo on its own -- and a nice crumbly mixture featuring oatmeal.

While you can always experiment with other fruit filling ideas, I'm partial to the strawberry-rhubarb mixture featured here. There's something wonderful about a fruit combination that features the ultra-sweet and the tart and tangy. I imagine that a blueberry-lemon combination would also be great. Of course, if your family prefers sweet over tangy, any sweet fruit preserve or spread will also do.

So, the next time you find yourself drawn to something fruity, think about making up a batch of these simple bars. They store well and are great to have on hand when you've got fruit on the brain! Enjoy.

Fruity Oatmeal Bars

  • 2 c. rhubarb, diced
  • 2 T. apple juice
  • 1 c. strawberry jam
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 c. oatmeal
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. margarine

To make the filling, place the rhubarb and apple juice in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb is softened and bubbly. Remove from the heat and stir in the strawberry jam. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Work the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of the mixture for a topping. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of a 9 X 13-inch baking pan. Carefully pour the strawberry-rhubarb filling over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved topping evenly over the filling.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool completely and cut into bars.

  • Yields: 25-30 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes