My Material Life

Aspen Oatmeal Bars from Maida Heatter

If you like butterscotch then I think you’re going to like this recipe.  I was looking for an oatmeal cookie recipe when I ran across this old favorite in Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies.  She describes these bars as “the height of ease and simplicity“, and they certainly are.  I’ll share the recipe for them in a minute, but I have to tell you I’m equally excited about the Ikea picture frame that I’m using as a sign frame.  I’m not sure why I love it so much; one reason might be that it reminds me of the classic Saarinen pedestal table.  I think I could design a whole cafe around it.

Aspen Oatmeal Bars

1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal

Adjust a rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8-inch-square cake pan. Place the butter and sugar in a medium-size saucepan.  Stir over moderate heat until melted.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Through a fine strainer add the baking powder and stir until smooth.  Stir in the salt and the oats.  It will be a thick mixture.  Turn the dough into the buttered pan.  Use your fingertips and the palm of your hand to press the dough into a smooth, compact layer.  Bake for 25 minutes.  The cake will still be soft but it will harden as it cools. Do not bake any longer.  While the cake is still warm cut around the sides to release but then let the cake finish cooling in the pan.  With a small, sharp knife cut the cake into quarters.  With a wide metal spatula transfer the quarters to a cutting board.  Cut each quarter into 6 bars.

I’m still looking for a good oatmeal cookie recipe.  If you have one could you share it with me?

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