I’m often at a loss when it comes to dealing with the scraps in my pantry and refrigerator. Handfuls of ingredients, left over from long completed baking projects. Never enough to repeat the recipe, always too much to just throw away… These odds and ends usually make their way into some sort of hodgepodge recipe, with results ranging anywhere from delicious to disastrous. Luck was on my side, this time.
For these bars, I used dried cherries and cherry jam, because those were the ingredients I was aiming to get rid of (along with the applesauce and whole wheat flour). Paired with the chocolate, I found the flavour reminiscent of a black forest cake… Don’t have cherry jam or dried cherries? Just use whatever jam and dried fruit that you have on hand, the flavour combinations are endless.
What’s your favorite way to use up the last bits of ingredients?
Chocolate-Cherry Oat Bars
1/2 cup Cherry Jam
1/2 cup Applesauce (unsweetened)
1/2 cup Dried Cherries
2 tbsp Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup Rolled Oats
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Margarine
1/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 tbsp Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (optional, for top)
Preheat oven to 35o°F.
Stir together the jam and applesauce until thoroughly combined. Stir in dried cherries and coconut. Set aside.
Combine the rolled oats, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Using a pastry blended or fork tines, cut in margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1/2 cup of the oat mixture.
Stir 1/3 cup chocolate chips into the remaining oat mixture and press into the bottom of an (ungreased) 8×8-inch baking pan. Spread with the jam mixture and sprinkle evenly with the reserved oat mixture. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over the top, if using.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
Allow to cool in pan before cutting into bars.
Makes 12 – 16 bars (depending on how I cut them) .