Mixed Berry Oat Bars


A few weeks ago on Talking With Our Mouths Full, we talked about a few elements of baking (flour and eggs) and discussed some shortcuts, tips and tricks. It sort of helped get me ramped up for holiday baking.

The truth is, I hadn’t even really thought about starting my holiday baking until talking about it on our show. Many, many years ago when I worked for any other company than the place I currently work, I had the day after Thanksgiving as a designated holiday. It’s been four Thanksgivings without. The day after Thanksgiving, for me, has always been the day I bake as many Christmas cookies as humanly possible. This usually extends into Saturday and Sunday, too. Without that Friday to launch my holiday baking, I’ve lost my fervor over the past four years.

I’ve been looking for some new “holiday” recipes to try out and pulled this recipe from a stack my Grandma sent me. The original recipe is from the Penzeys spices catalog.


  • 1 c. butter, room temperature
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 c. oats (I used rolled)
  • 16 oz. berry jam or preserves (mixed strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, etc.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Gradually add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture until well blended. Stir in the oats.  Press two-thirds of the mixture into a 9×13-inch pan.
  2. Mix the jams together. Spread the jam evenly over the oat mixture. Top with the remaining oat mixture. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool, and then cut into bars.


The original recipe used half the ingredients listed above and specified  to bake it in an 8-inch square pan at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. I baked mine at the same temperature and time as specified and I thought the bars were way too brown. They didn’t look burnt at the edges but they certainly tasted overdone. If I made these again, it would be at a slightly lower temperature for less time.

I’ve never been a huge fan of any dessert that didn’t involve chocolate, peanut butter or caramel (or a combination). Fruit desserts fall way at the bottom of my list of favorite desserts. As my palate becomes refined, my tastes grow. I’m beginning to become slightly fond of fruity desserts, in fact. This one in particular is like eating a fruit crumble that’s mostly crumble with a tiny amount of fruit. In other words, right up my alley.

Recipe rating:  1/2 (it actually probably deserves  apples but I knocked it down a half  because they were overdone).

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