Well my friends, are we ready for Monday and all of Le Merde that it might throw our way? I am so ready to kick some weekday butt, and I’d be lying if I said these Strawberry Oat Bars didn’t put a big smile on my face. Take that Monday!
It was a busy weekend for me. I was in Portland, Oregon attending Indulge Conference. The name couldn’t be more appropriate because well, I ate some ridiculously good food with great friends, listened to life stories from others. Oh and there was wine and the best donuts in the donut-sphere!
Portland, I can’t wait to see you again.
If you know me by now, you’ll know that I love all baked goods and that my ideal way to relax through the day is with coffee and a pastry. The two are made for each other and in my mind, go hand in hand. Not everyone follows my theory though.
I was in a coffee shop recently, and the man in front of me paid for his drink and an oat bar. While we both waited for the barista to do his thing, this guy inhaled his oat bar even before he had his drink in hand. I was shocked, these two things needed to be in the mouth at the same time It’s like cheese and wine, Oreo’s and ice cold milk or Steak and fries.
You just don’t eat them separately. Am I sounding a little crazy right now? Should I have tapped that man on the shoulder and shook my finger at him grandma style?
So I made my own oat bars. Inspiration comes at me from the weirdest places, plus the oat bar that my ravenous coffee-line friend had didn’t look very appealing.
I knew I could do better.
I think I did, and they’re so very simple.
Buttery oats are combined with delicious thyme and cardamom and smashed into a baking pan. That’s right, fresh thyme. Herbs are magical in desserts too, I plead with you to try it sometime.
I could have left the recipe like that and have been happy but when you find a bar of chocolate in the cupboard, you know it needs to be chopped and sprinkled on top. No chocolate chips, you could use them but I love the irregularity in the sizes of shards and chunks of dark chocolate.
Almonds for crunch and throw it in the oven.
Your work is done here, make some fresh coffee and don’t be like coffee-line guy.
Strawberry Oat Bars with Thyme and Chocolate Chunks
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup room temperature butter
- 1 cup strawberry jam
- 1 bar dark chocolate 3oz
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish or pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the brown sugar, flour, baking soda, oats, thyme and cardamom in a bowl.
- Add the butter and break it through the dry ingredients with your fingers until the mixture becomes like wet sand.
- Transfer 2 cups of the mixture into the prepared baking dish and press down firmly filling the pan out to the edges and making flat and even.
- Spread the strawberry jam on top of the oat mixture spreading towards the edge with the back of a spoon.
- Add the remaining oat mixture on top of the strawberry jam and spread out.
- Roughly chop the chocolate bar into chunks and sprinkle over the top of the oats along with the sliced almonds.
- Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
- Let cool before slicing.