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Strawberry Oat Bars

It seems to me I now have a series of recipes which consist of classic recipes calling for some other type of fruit than strawberries, in which I have replaced that classic fruit with strawberries, the results then being something better than the original. Strawberry Cream Pie (bye, bananas) and Strawberry Upside Down Cake (adios, pineapple) being the others so far. This one ditches dried dates for fresh strawberries, and wow! So good. I want these again already.

I would be more than willing to try other berries as well, and I know for a fact that frozen strawberries work quite well in this.

20 – 24 bars
1 hour – 20 minutes prep time

Strawberry Oat Bars

Make the Base:
1 1/2 cups soft whole wheat flour
2 cups quick-cook rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
the finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Mix the flour, oats, sugar, salt, lemon zest, cinnamon, and ginger well in a mixing bowl.

Cut the butter into chunks and rub it into the dry mixture until none of it appears white and powdery. It will form some clumps, and it is fine is pea-sized bits of butter still remain. Mix in the eggs until the mixture forms clumps throughout and is fairly evenly moist. It is easiest to do both of these actions using your very clean hands.

Make the Filling & Finish:
2 cups sliced strawberries (or other berries, rinsed)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch

Line 9″ x 13″ pan with parchment paper. Put in 2/3 of the base; press down into a firm, flat layer. Mix the berries with the sugar and starch and spread over the base. Sprinkle the remaining base mixture evenly over the top. Bake at 350°F. for 40 to 45 minutes.

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