Food & Drink

Make sweet, chewy bars with jam, nuts, oatmeal

Rolled oats and whole wheat flour impart a halo of health-food wholesomeness to these granola bars. But don’t be fooled, these granola bars belong firmly in the dessert category.

Those whole-grain ingredients are here for their satisfying chew, and a good measure of salt brings out their depth of flavor. Just enough (read: a lot of) butter and brown sugar hold the streusel-like granola in bar form. Allow them to cool completely before slicing so they’ll be firm enough to hold their shape.

For the jam filling, I used a couple of jars of homemade apricot-rhubarb preserves that were hiding in the pantry, the end of my stash from last summer’s canning, but the granola is a good blank canvas for any flavor of jam. Use whatever variety you like best, store-bought or homemade. It’ll bake into a gooey, chewy layer, concentrating in flavor as it cooks sandwiched between the layers of granola.

If your jam is very thick, warm it in a microwave-safe bowl or on top of a double boiler until it reaches a more spreadable consistency.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can definitely still make this recipe. Chop the walnuts by hand and blitz a cup of the rolled oats in a coffee/spice grinder or mini-chopper before combining with the rest of the dry ingredients. You’ll also need to cut the butter into the flour by hand or with a pastry blender.

I sliced my bars into 18 generous servings, but you can certainly go with a more dainty square if you like. I recommend serving the bars in a cupcake liner to catch any errant crumbs. But any way you go, you’ve got a winner on your hands.

Coco Morante is a writer for, a website for food and home cooking. Email comments or questions to