By Tania Stenzel
There is something so wonderful about having your children come home from school and see them take an appreciative sniff and then smile.
Baking or making my boys their after-school snacks (as often as I can) gives me joy. Knowing that their snacks are made with great ingredients, and of course love, means a lot to me. I like to try out new foods and mix it up for them, creating new recipes as we go.
These strawberry almond oatmeal bars were a huge hit with both boys -- and that isn’t always the way it goes.
Strawberry Almond Oatmeal Bars (or Hearts)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal (or finely ground almonds; prepared almond meal is available atTrader Joe’s)
1 1/2 cups oats
1 3/4 sticks of unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
10 – 12 oz strawberry jam
1/2 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13 dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, brown sugar, oats, and baking powder. Using two forks, or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Press half of the mixture into the baking dish.
In a small bowl whisk the almond extract into the strawberry jam. Spread the jam evenly over the bottom layer of crust. Sprinkle the remaining half of the oat and flour mixture over the jam and press gently.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares…or hearts.
Do you like to make homemade after-school snacks for your hungry kiddos? Please share your favorites, and links to recipes if you have them.
Tania Stenzel is a Seattle-area stay-at-home mom, who loves all things baking. Learn more about Tania in our "Foodies on Food" feature and find more of her tasty recipes over on her blog, Love Big Bake Often.