Valentine’s is coming up, so all things pink is of course fitting. I don’t know who decided pink and red symbolized Valentine’s Day, but it works.
History digression: According to legend, Saint Valentine of Rome was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers (they were forbidden to marry since *gasp* women were distractions) and for other Christians. The night before Valentine was to be executed, he supposedly wrote the first “valentine” card to his jailer’s daughter, whom he miraculously cured from blindness, signing it as “Your Valentine.”
This sad tale somehow became associated with love, as the tradition of courtly love flourished during the Middle Ages. Starting in 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers professed their love with flowers, sweets, and greeting cards (known as “valentines”) (Wiki)
Well, I can’t offer everyone flowers and soul mates, but I can offer you sweets.
I was trying to use up my overly sweet jam I had bought, but it turned out I didn’t have enough jam to fill these bars. So I made my own in a pinch. It’s pretty easy; just mash fresh/frozen berries and cook over the stovetop with sugar and cornstarch to reduce it. And you get to control the sugar as bonus. Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman
from Food Network.
Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
1 1/2 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
One 10 to 12-ounce jar raspberry preserves (or make your own, see below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan.
Mix together the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Press half the oat mixture into the prepared pan. Spread with the raspberry preserves. Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly.
Bake until light brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely, and then cut into squares
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Combine raspberry, sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan on stovetop on medium. Stir until thickened.