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I enjoy baking snacks and desserts for my family and friends (baking is how I express my love and affection). In all my years of baking, I’ve found that these really are the best oatmeal raspberry bars ever and are a favorite with my family. These bars make wonderful holiday or anytime gifts and are also perfect for afternoon snacking. It’s almost back-to-school time. Can you believe it? I like to make a special after-school snack for them during the first week of school. It’s gives my children something to look forward to and helps ease the transition back into our school day routine.
These oatmeal raspberry bars have been a favorite recipe of mine for years (decades, even) and have become one of my children’s favorite treats, too. With three children, a working dad and mom, a dog and leopard gecko, getting in the back-to-school routine again can be a bit of a challenge. Our family after-school routine consists of walking in the door, saying hi to mom (and the dog), grabbing a snack to eat while reading for pleasure and then immediately hitting the homework. Having an enticing homemade treat the first week or so of school helps us all get back into our after-school routine.
I knew I’d find a wide variety of Quaker breakfast and snack options at Walmart. So while I was there picking up school supplies, I ran by the breakfast aisle to pick up better for you breakfast foods and lunchbox snacks. I like to have a variety of mom-approved breakfast choices that my children can prepare for themselves in the morning. The same goes for the snacks they pack in their lunchboxes. One of the great things about having kids that are in the tween and teen years is that they can prepare their own breakfasts and make their own lunches. My job is now to make sure that I provide them with good options for them to choose from.
Keeping a family of five happy means providing choices. I’ve found that having variety packs of oatmeal and granola bars makes everyone happy (especially mom, since there are no complaints). And I can just add, that 20% more in a box of cereal (that my kids love) at back-to-school shopping time makes this mama happy, as does 25% less sugar in our granola bars!
The recipe for these raspberry oatmeal bars uses basic items I usually have in the pantry. One time though, I only had the variety pack of Quaker Fruit & Cream Instant Oatmeal in my pantry. I substituted 6 packets of oatmeal (using a mix of Strawberries & Cream and Bananas & Cream packets) for the oats. Using the Fruit & Cream Instant Oatmeal gives the bars a more delicate flavor and texture.
You start by mixing the flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda together. You then cut the cold butter into the dry mixture. If you have a food processor you can use that, but I find the old-fashioned method works better and makes fewer dishes to wash.
Once you have the butter cut into the dry ingredients, add the oatmeal. Press two-thirds of the dough into the greased pan. Spread the raspberry jam over the dough. Pat the remainder of the dough over the jam and bake.
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups oatmeal - I use 6 packets of Quaker Fruit & Cream Instant Oatmeal
- 2 cups raspberry jam
- Heat oven to 350F. Grease 9x13 inch baking pan.
- Mix flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles course crumbs. Cut the oats into the mixture
- Press 2/3 of the dough into the baking pan. Spread the raspberry jam over the dough evenly. Spread the remaining dough evenly over the jam and gently press down.
- Bake approximately 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
- After the bars are cut; mix 1/4 cup softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Add milk until the icing is the right consistency. Drizzle icing over the bars.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Pssst, don’t tell my kids, but adding fresh berries is a great way to sneak some fresh fruit in with their snack.
They grab an oatmeal raspberry bar, fresh berries, a glass of milk and are almost happy to start their homework.
The great thing about these raspberry oatmeal bars is that it makes a batch large enough for snacks all week long. I can whip up a batch on Sunday and have a snack that my family will enjoy for the upcoming week. And because it makes a large batch, you can easily fill several gift baskets if you are using this recipe for holiday gifts or gifts for any occasion.
These really are the best oatmeal raspberry bars ever. Give them a try and see what your family thinks. How does Quaker help you and your family succeed in your back-to-school routine?