The secret to a great dessert bar is in the crust. It’s that buttery, sugary, slightly crunchy, very caramelized, melt-in-your-mouth crust that makes a dessert bar deserving of bar status. Then you can top it with whatever you’d like – oatmeal and white chocolate chips, corn syrup and pecans, apples and brown sugar, apricots and honey…
I wasn’t planning on sharing this recipe because the photos turned out a little meh (most are from my iphone – with the exception of that first one – I was in a hurry the morning of our pumpkin patch trip) but I received a few requests, and so your wish is my command.
Maple Oat Bars
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
This is a pretty standard crust recipe. Lots of cold butter, a matching amount of flour, brown sugar, a pinch of salt. I usually run my flour through a sifter before adding it.
You can use a food processor to cut the chunks up, but I often just break everything together with my hands. Line a square baking sheet (a 9×13 brownie pan will do) with foil and cooking spray, then press your crust into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees or until the crust is golden brown and cracking.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups oatmeal
In a separate bowl, crumble together topping ingredients with exception of maple syrup. Lightly pat onto baked crust.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. When the bars emerge from the oven, evenly sprinkle with a light amount of maple syrup. Let cool.
Cut into squares and enjoy!
Try this recipe with chocolate chips, macadamia nuts, pecans, cranberries, you name it. This crust is the perfect foundation for pecan bars if you mix corn syrup, brown sugar and pecans together as your topping. It’s all soooo good. Happy fall baking!
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