Friday, May 17, 2013

Fruit and Oat Squares

Woo hoo - here goes my first time participating in the Improv Challenge.  Thanks to Frugal Antics for inspiring me to give it a go.  This months recipe challenge was cinnamon and sugar.   Yum.  How could you go wrong trying to create a cinnamon and sugar entry into this challenge.  

Well - first off by missing the deadline!

My memory was that the posting deadline was today, but in reviewing the email it was actually yesterday, or EARLY today.  However, my efforts were such a success with my family, I'm going to try entering anyway.

Earlier this week I succeeded in preparing a couple of recipes involving dried fruit.  I also succeeded in burning up my blender, but the results of my efforts have proved very useful.  The fruit paste and natural laxative mixture worked great in my Smooth Move Black Bean Brownie recipe.  I was curious how it would work in an old favorite Fruit Square recipe that I haven't made in ages.

My first use of this recipe was for a ridiculously large barbecue we had prior to one of our moves.  I found this recipe in a cookbook that my sister gave me when I got married.  The Favorite Brand Name Bake Sale Cookbook  has turned into a favorite cookbook in my very small kitchen library.  As soon as I read the recipes from CHOP for the Fruit Paste/Natural Laxative Mix, I thought of how yummy it would be in this recipe.  I imagined it would be somewhat like a cross between an Fig Newton and a Granola Bar.

I did modify the recipe.

I am beginning to wonder if I am actually capable of following a recipe.

I had some leftover cereal bits that I wanted to use up so I substituted 1/2 cup of cereal crumbs (basically the bits left in the bottom of the box from a box of Fiber One cereal and a box of Grape Nuts cereal) for 1/2 cup of the oatmeal.  I also increased the amount of butter to 1/2 cup.

The result was delicious and my kids have been asking for me to put them in their lunches daily.  

Another pain free way to increase the regularity in our household.

Fruit and Oat Squares
 - adapted from the Favorite Brand Name Bake Sale Cookbook

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup uncooked quick oats
1/2 cup high fiber cereal crumbs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup Fruit Paste or Natural Laxative Mixture

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray 9 inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine flour, oats, cereal crumbs, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl; mix well.

Add melted butter to flour mixture.  Stir with fork until mixture is crumbly.

Reserve 3/4 cup crumb mixture for topping.  Press remaining crumb mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared pan.  Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned.

Spread preserves onto crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Cut into 16 squares.