My grandmother was an avid baker. She was never more in her element than she was in her kitchen. She lived in the next town over and we spent every Saturday night together, chatting, eating, cooking, and laughing; followed by her tucking me into bed with a prayer and a bedtime story. There was no place on Earth that felt better.
There a few things in this life that are certain. Water is wet. The sky is blue. Laughter bonds us. And that butter and eggs and sugar and flour, mixing and churning and baking together can turn your kitchen into an olfactory embrace.
1 cup softened butter cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups of packed brown sugar
1/4 almonds – finely chopped
1/4 cup of crystallized ginger – finely chopped
1/4 cup of dried apricots – finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups quick oats
10 oz of marmalade
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Grease an 11×17 baking dish and line with parchment paper.
Cream butter and brown sugar together. Add eggs and beat for two minutes until smooth. In a separate bowl, blend all dry ingredients together. Slowly add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture. Stir until thoroughly blended.
In a small bowl mix the almonds, ginger, apricots and marmalade together.
Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the dish. Flatten as much as possible into the corners of the pan. Trim the parchment paper until it’s about an inch over the top of the pan. Spread the marmalade mixture over the bottom layer and top with the remaining oatmeal mixture. Work slowly and wet fingers if necessary to flatten the top layer completely from edge to edge.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack and lift out of dish and onto a cutting board. Makes 24 bars.
Magilla rating: 9
Mom rating: 12 – she’s not biased. I swear.