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Oatmeal-Jam Squares

Lining the baking pan with buttered aluminum foil makes it easy to remove the baked square from the pan, allowing you to cut it evenly into small squares. It also speeds cleanup. You can use this technique for baking a variety of other squares and bars.

Ingredients:

  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup apricot or other seedless fruit jam

Directions:

Mix the crust and topping
Preheat an oven to 325°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, letting the foil extend over the rim of the pan. Butter the foil.

In a food processor, combine the flour, oats, confectioners’ sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the mixture forms fine crumbs.

Assemble the crust and topping
Remove 2 cups of the flour mixture and set aside. Transfer the remaining mixture to the prepared pan and press it evenly over the bottom and 1 inch up the sides. Drop spoonfuls of the jam evenly over the crust. Using the back of the spoon, spread the jam evenly to the edges. Don’t worry if a few spots remain uncovered; the jam will spread during baking. Sprinkle the reserved flour mixture evenly over the jam.

Bake the squares
Bake until the edges are lightly browned and the jam filling is just beginning to bubble, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Using the ends of the foil liner, lift the square from the baking pan and place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into small squares. Makes about 25 squares.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Desserts, by Elinor Klivans (Oxmoor House, 2007).