I really love road trips. The open road, blasting tunes on the stereo, the promise of a new place, and the opportunity for road snacking.
Me and three friends made a trip upstate (Schenectady) to see one of our favorite authors, David Sedaris, do a reading and signing. If you haven't jumped on his bandwagon yet, DO IT. He's such an amazing writer! I decided, that since we were heading out kind of early, that I'd make something tasty for the ride up. I had a lot of errands to run before we left, so I wanted whatever I made to be simple, wholesome, and easy.
These Apricot Oat Bars are exactly that. At 7 in the morning on a Saturday, you don't really want to fuss much. These took 10-15 minutes to mix; the only thing I didn't have in my pantry was the apricot preserves, which was fixed by a jaunt to the market. Not a fan of apricot? You can totally sub in any flavor you want. I like the Bonne Maman brand myself, but use what you like. Just don't use grape jam/jelly or something like that. NASTY.
First, get your oven nice and toasty at 350. Combine a cup and a half of flour, the same amount of old fashioned oats, a teaspoon of baking powder, a cup of packed brown sugar, a half teaspoon of salt, and a stick and 3/4ths of butter (cut in pieces, please) in a large mixing bowl. Just mix it up in your hands til the mixture looks like crumbs. This works best when the butter is slightly soft.
Take half of your mixture and press it into a BUTTERED 8 inch square dish (I just used a smallish rectangular dish). Then, take your 12oz jar of preserves and spread it over your bottom crust evenly. Lick the spatula clean (optional, but I think you should do it). Sprinkle the second half of the mix over the preserves and press it down lightly. Now, all you gotta do is pop this in the oven for 45 minutes until golden brown and delish. They smell AMAZING coming out of the oven. But, don't be tempted to cut into them right away. Let them cool COMPLETELY. If you don't they will completely fall apart...like they did in the car. We ate them anyway though, hands covered in sticky sweetness. Hey, anything goes on the open road.
SIDEBAR: You know why the picture I posted for this recipe is so nice? Because my fool butt left the picture I took of these on my external hard drive! And I borrowed this one from The Pioneer Woman, which is fitting, because this is also her recipe. I already asked her permission, but just wanted to put it in writing here. :-)