Somehow yesterday didn’t feel like much of a kill-me-now Monday, until the point where I sat down to put this post together and realized that all I wanted to do was be done with any sort of work for the day. That’s where comfy couches, cozy blankets, and glasses of wine come in ➝ to make the end of the day a little more bearable when there’s still stuff left to do. (That’s also where staring at your computer screen for a good 5 minutes while you daydream about other things comes in, but I obviously don’t do that. Obviously.)
As a complete 180 change of topic – and further proof that my concentration is all over the place right now – I’m psyched that I can start working with more fruits again now that the weather is warming up and the seasons are changing. This recipe has sort of been stuck under construction since last fall, and the best feeling is when you can take a semi-failed recipe and turn it into a total success on round 2. Now that strawberries are coming back into full swing – at least here in California (I ♡ this place) – I finally got to do a little tweaking and bake up some fully awesome crumb bars, loaded with oats and filled with the thickest possible layer of homemade strawberry filling.
Since they’re 100% whole wheat and made with coconut oil instead of flour, they feel a little bit healthier and breakfast-appropriate, but all those crumbles of brown sugar-sweetened oats still make them feel like a treat. Then there’s the big heap of fresh strawberries cooked into a tangy-sweet filling that wakes all the flavors up and makes it feel like spring is officially in the air. Can it just be morning already so I can drink an iced coffee and sink my teeth into one of these babies? That’d be GREAT.
100% whole wheat crumb bars loaded with oats and a homemade strawberry filling.
- 1 lb 4 ounces (4 cups) chopped strawberries
- 2 5/8 ounces (6 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons water
- 9 1/2 ounces (2 1/4 cups, spoon and level) whole wheat pastry flour, divided
- 3 5/8 ounces (1 1/4 cups) old-fashioned oats, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces (2/3 cup packed) brown sugar
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) coconut oil, melted and briefly cooled
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- raw (demerara) sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
- Stir strawberries and sugar together in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water until smooth. While stirring, slowly pour into strawberry mixture.
- Return strawberries to heat and bring to a sluggish boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8" square pan with foil and grease foil with nonstick spray.
- In a bowl, whisk together 8 1/2 ounces (2 cups, spoon and level) pastry flour, 2 7/8 ounces (1 cup) oats, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Fold into dry ingredients just until evenly incorporated.
- Set aside 7 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) batter and press the remaining batter into the bottom of the prepared pan in a flat, compact layer. Pour strawberry filling on top and spread out evenly.
- Add the remaining 1 ounce (1/4 cup, spoon and level) flour and 3/4 ounce (1/4 cup) oats to the reserved batter and rub in with fingertips until evenly combined and crumbly. Scatter evenly over strawberry layer.
- Bake bars in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out free of batter. Cool in pan completely, and then use foil to lift out before slicing. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.