These Strawberry Oat Macadamia Bars are very easy to make; just three layers and then in the oven. They are very fruity, crunchy and have a nice dense chewy base.
Don’t they look just absolutely yummy? The basic ingredients are steel cut oats, strawberries, blackberries and macadamia nuts, with some flour and sugar and butter. Baking with fruit is so rewarding. Make sure you don’t overcook or overbake the fruit and don’t add more sugar than necessary. In other words when you be skimpy with the sugar you taste more of the fruit, and that’s what you want.
When I am looking for something to bake, I always try to make a recipe that can be consumed in a couple of days. It is just the two of us, so eating too much of the same would be boring and would reshape our waistlines in the wrong direction. Alternatively, I do freeze cakes or pies for later use, but not everything is freezable in my opinion. I am not very good in throwing food away, so I try to use the smaller baking pans.
For these Strawberry Oat Macadamia Bars, I used an 8×8 baking pan and depending how small you cut the bars you’ll have about 9 bars. By the way, the outside pieces are the nicest as they are the crunchiest.
First you make a simple strawberry jam. Simply put, strawberries and sugar cooked to a jam; 1 pound of strawberries and 1/4 cups of sugar and lemon juice. I don’t think you can officially call this jam, but it is a mixture of fruit and sugar that you cook until it is a little thicker than just strawberry juice. No pectin. Consequently, the strawberry section will easily ooze out of the bars; that’s make them look so delicious and it is not only the looks that is delicious.
Once the strawberry jam is made and ready to poor onto the bottom layer of the bars, mix in the blackberries. Don’t mash them, they will be soft enough after they bake. The dough part of the bars consists of steel cut oats, flour, macadamia nuts, sugar, butter and salt.
These Strawberry Oat Macadamia Bars have a dense base, because I used steel cut oats and not the rolled oats. The steel cut oats are chopped whole oats and thus compact tighter. The strawberry jam, does not seep into the base, especially because you press it down, once in the baking dish. The top remains crumbled and you will see the fruit juice bubble through the top layer.
Cut when the bars when they are cooled and use a sharp knife because the jam part is delicate. You don’t want to end up with the jam squeezed from between the 2 layers.