Strawberry Honey Oatmeal Bars and April Foodie Penpals — Damn Delicious

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Strawberry Honey Oatmeal Bars and April Foodie Penpals

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been super obsessed with anything that involved the word “bars” – Dalmatian Bars, Key Lime Cheesecake Bars, White and Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake Bars – and oatmeal – Baked Oatmeal, Oatmeal Cookie Granola, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins – so when I came across these strawberry honey oatmeal bars which combined my two new obsessions, I was in heaven. But more on that later. Let’s first talk about these awesome goodies I got for April Foodie Penpals.

If you’ve never heard of this program, here’s how it works:

  • You send a box of goodies to your matched up penpal on the 15th of the month, in which there is a $15 spending limit. You can send fun foodie things, local food items, or even homemade treats, and the box also has to include something written. It can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box to a fun recipe.
  • Then on the last day of the month, you get to post about all the wonderful goodies you received from your penpal.

I had the honor of being Kristin Timmons’ penpal. I told her that I have no dietary restrictions and that I love trying new things but she still went through my blog to see the kinds of foods that were part of my diet. Then she sent me a box of goodies that tailored to the “clean eating” that I’ve been doing since Jason has been away. Isn’t she the sweetest?

So here it is. As you can see, I received small portioned, healthy snacks, with a couple of treats to balance it all out. Amazing, right?

Yes, this would be one of the non-healthy treats.

But have no fear. These cute little 100 calorie bars evenly distributes the calorie intake from that dark chocolate bark. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.

Okay this was my favorite item in the box. It doesn’t look like much but seriously, this is the best snack ever. They’re savory little crackers but they’re wheat and gluten-free and it’s low in calories, which makes it perfect for a late-night snack.

So are you jealous of all these wonderful goodies? Then come join this awesome exchange of goodies! Just be sure to send an email to Lindsay at [email protected] by May 4th with the following information:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Blog name/address
  • Twitter handle, if applicable
  • U.S. resident or Canadian resident

Also, a HUGE thank you to Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean for coordinating all this. I’m sure organizing this for 500+ people was not easy so thank you for your time and efforts for this wonderful program.

Okay, now let’s talk about these amazing oatmeal bars. Now I’ve never really made bars like this before so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But like I said earlier, it involved oatmeal and the word “bars” so I knew I couldn’t lose with this recipe.

As they were baking in the oven, I started to lose patience. I was just so curious as to how these would turn out. But once they came out of the oven, I still couldn’t even eat them right away because I had to let them cool in order to get some clean slices. It was like torture just waiting for them! If I didn’t have the food blog, I seriously would’ve grabbed a fork and ate it right out of the pan. Ah, life of a food blogger, right?

Anyway, when all the photos were taken and the time had finally come to dive into these babies, I was over the moon. I loved how crumbly they were along with that sweet strawberry jam center. I especially liked it when they were chilled. The only thing that did bother me though was that I had to use store-bought, Smuckers Strawberry Jam. I know, shameful. But I didn’t make that Strawberry Balsamic Jam until after I had made these. But that just gives me an excuse to make these again with that homemade jam. I mean these bars were palatable with the shameful jam so could you imagine how much better it would be with homemade jam?

Strawberry Honey Oatmeal Bars (adapted from Pastry Affair):

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray; then line the baking dish with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, flours, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Beat in egg and honey until well combined.

Gradually add flour mixture to the sugar mixture at low speed, beating just until incorporated.

Spread 3/4 of the batter into the prepared baking dish.

The batter will be sticky so I used saran wrap to spread the bottom layer.

Spread the strawberry jam evenly over the bottom layer.

Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 of the batter.

Place into oven and bake until lightly browned , about 25-30 minutes.

Let cool slightly before cutting into bars.

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