I won’t lie. Baking makes me feel good. Just thinking about baking actually makes me feel good … looking at yummy recipes, the photos that make me want to drop everything and run to the kitchen, considering the ingredients … all part of the process. (And I like to blog about baking!)
First, we gather the ingredients together. You might, (correctly), surmise that I collect recipes for eons, as this one, in a copy of Woman’s Day, carried a 2/3 page cigarette ad! You won’t be finding
that in its recent history.
I committed to making a dessert for a volunteer picnic this Sunday for the local equine rescue I help. I wanted to also make something vegan, in keeping with my own direction, and also because when a bunch of people gather who are committed to the mission of rescuing horses, often from slaughter, (and becoming horse meat), there’s always a fair amount of vegetarians, and some vegans. I went searching through my recipes, and selected one without eggs and where I could easily replace the butter with Earth Balance vegan margarine. All other ingredients are vegan.
All you eagle-eyed bakers may have noticed something missing in that top photo – flour. NOW I have all the ingredients.
I’ve made this recipe before, but with butter and different flavors preserves. This time I also mixed it up and used brown sugar for half the sugar, as it’s such a natural with oats and cinnamon.This recipe is incredibly simple and whips up in no time.
After mixing the margarine, flour, sugar, baking powder and oat mixture together, the next step is pressing the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
Next, spreading the preserves to within a half inch of the edges.
Sprinkle top with reserved crumb mixture and coconut.
Voila – Done!
One of the things that is most difficult for me is the concept of baking vegan. I don’t have a problem with not eating meat. I know enough about what happens to animals, particularly in the factory farming system, to not want to participate in it. But eggs and dairy, particularly when it comes to baking? Now this is rough.
Established vegans say that once committed, you won’t miss the eggs and dairy in food. Maybe not in some food, but in baking … I don’t know. As I go through my many clipped recipes and cookbooks, I can envision making a vegan version of some, but others? Simply not possible. I am in a quandary.
But for today, I made something simple and vegan, which, of course, I had to taste to make sure it’s safe for consumption.
Because I have modified this recipe significantly, I am including it here, should you want something fast and easy, vegan or not, (just use butter.) Enjoy!
Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
3/4 C. butter or margarine
1-1/4 C. each rolled oats and flour
1/2 C. sugar I used half cane sugar, half brown sugar)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. strawberry preserves (or peach, apricot – anything seedless)
3/4 C. flaked coconut
In 13 x 9″ baking pan, melt butter while oven is heating to 350˚; cool.
Stir in oats, flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon until blended. It will be crumbly.
Reserve 1/2 c. crumb mixture.
Press firmly onto bottom of pan.
Spread preserves to within 1/2″ of edges.
Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture tossed with coconut.
Bake on center rack for 25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool in pan on rack. Makes 36 bars. (per bar – 12 mg cholesterol with butter, 0 mg cholesterol with margarine.)
And now for me … back to the picture book I’m working on.