There are a couple of types of bar cookies the typical chewy type like brownies and blondies. Then there is a very nice alternative that is more like a pastry shortbread type that is tender, buttery and crumbly.
Sometimes you want something sweet but you don’t have the time or patience to make individual cookies. I will admit I do make more cookies than bars and I am not a fan of jelly filled anything but I found this raspberry bar recipe and fell in love. I have made these many many times now, when I offer to bring them places I always double the batch just so I can leave some at home. They are really easy to make, generally can be thrown together in about 15 minutes, not including baking I hope you try making them. You can substitute the filling for whatever your preference is.
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ cups quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup finely chopped pecans or almonds, or a combination of both
12 tablespoons unsalted butter softened but still cool. Cut into pieces
1 10oz jar of raspberry preserve
Easily doubled – which is how I generally make them
Preheat oven to 350’
Spray 9×9 pan fold two 16-inch pieces of parchment or aluminum foil. Fold and press the first sheet into the pan pressing the corners, with the second sheet crisscross over the other. You will want to make sure the end over hang; this is to take the bars out of the pan a lot easier. Spray with the sheets with cooking spray.
Mix the flour, oats, sugars, baking soda, salt, and nuts in a bowl of an electric mixer on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. With the mixer on low, add the butter pieces; continue until the mixer is well blended and resembles wet sand; about 2 minutes.
Transfer two thirds of the oat mixer to the prepared pan; use your hands to press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake until the crust starts to brown, about 20 minutes. Using a rubber spatula spread the preserves evenly over the baked oats; sprinkle the remaining oat mixture evenly over the preserves. Bake until the preserves bubble around the edges and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 ½ hours. Remove the squares using the foil or parchment paper handles. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 1 ½ inch squares.