When faced with simple, casual dessert options I always go to bar cookies. Bar cookies easily spread into baking dishes, cook evenly and can be cut into any size treat you desire. My mother in law, Peg, is the best “healthy food” cook I know. She brought her family up to enjoy everything and continued to learn to make the best food, even better. This is Whole Grain Jam Bar of her favorites and ours!
I always use parchment paper in my pans of bar cookies, which makes them easy to lift and place them on cooling racks. If you don’t have parchment paper, use greased foil.
- 2 cups old fashioned uncooked whole oats
- 1¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
- 1 cup butter
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup wheat germ
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 16-18 ounce jar low sugar preserves – apricot and peach work well (warmed to a smooth consistency for spreading)
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Combine all ingredients except jam in a bowl. Beat ingredients at low speed until crumbly. Reserve 2-3 cups of this mixture. Press mixture firmly into bottom of greased 13x9 pan. Spread jam in a thin layer across pressed mixture.
- Now evenly sprinkle the reserved 2 cups across the top of jam and gently press down to even layer. Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit in pan or glass dish to cool for about 15 minutes and then cut into squares before cookie bar is completely cooled.
- These freeze well if there are any left!