Raspberry Oat Bars

By food contributor Sarah
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Ever wanted a tricked out peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dessert? Well you are in luck. These adorable Raspberry Oat Bars have the homey flavors of your favorite PB&J with a grown up twist. A caramel mixed-nut mixture tops oat cookie crust and tart raspberry filling. Yum.
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And as you if didn’t need another excuse for a coffee break…these are the prefect 3 pm treat…
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Crust:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, diced

Topping:

1 cup raspberry jam
2 cups unsalted mixed nuts (I used almonds, pecans, walnuts) chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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1. Pre-heat oven to 325 F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.

2. For the crust, combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Rub in the butter using your hands or a pastry blender to form a crumbly mixture. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

3. Let crust cool slightly then spread with raspberry jam.

4. For the topping, place the nuts in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, heat up the butter, sugar, milk and vanilla. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then pour the mixture over the chopped nuts and stir together. Pack the nut mix evenly over the jam and return to the oven for 30 minutes, until the nuts have turned a nice golden brown.
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5. Leave to cool, then slice into bars or squares.

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