If there’s one thing Food Network darling Ree Drummond knows how to do, it’s making food and meals approachable and uncomplicated for every home cook, no matter their level of expertise.
The Pioneer Woman host’s Strawberry Oatmeal Bars recipe is a great example: a quick, satisfying snack that’s easy to make and that your whole family will love.
Drummond’s secret to successful cooking
Watching the Food Network star assemble a meal on her popular cooking show is one thing. The behind-the-scenes work involved is another. Her main tip for successful and stress-free cooking is so simple, it’s obvious: keep that pantry in good supply of staple items you use often and need. Especially in the auburn-haired chef’s case, if she runs out of an ingredient on her Oklahoma ranch, it’s not that convenient to run out for more.
“Pantry items — that’s my life, because if I get stuck without an ingredient I need, I’m out of luck,” she told USA Today in 2017. “Between the freezer and pantry, I try to have them well stocked. The pantry would (contain) things like dried beans, pinto beans, great white northern beans. Cans of tomato products — diced, whole, paste, sauce, you can get very far in life with a shelf full of tomato products.”
Her easy, breezy Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Simple and delicious, once you try these homemade snack bars, you won’t want the packaged kind again. They’re not difficult to make and require ingredients you probably have in your pantry right now.
Here are the recipe instructions, via The Pioneer Woman.
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 c. oats (quick or regular)
- 1 c. packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 3/4 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 jar (10 to 12 ounce) strawberry preserves
Grease a 9 x 13 or 8 x 10 baking dish. Before assembling your ingredients, heat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add the cold butter and with a pastry cutter or fork, continue cutting it until the flour mixture begins to look like crumbs.
Add half of this mixture into the greased dish and press it down to make sure it’s packed into the pan.
Distribute the strawberry preserves equally over the packed oat mixture in the pan and use a butter knife to spread it all out.
Sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture over the preserves and carefully pack it down for a smooth top.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes, until it’s a golden brown color. When it’s done, take it out of the oven to cool in the pan.
Once it’s completely cooled, cut your bars into squares and enjoy!
Even ‘The Pioneer Woman’ has had some bad days in the kitchen
While Drummond is a baking pro, she admitted to Delish in 2017 that she has had some not-so-successful recipes.
“Probably my biggest fail was less of a baking fail and more of a dessert fail,” she said. “I made green tea ice cream from scratch. … I didn’t know this, but I hadn’t shut my freezer all the way. I opened the freezer and not only was everything in the freezer ruined — beef and everything — but I had this sludge to serve my guests.”
In her video demonstrating how to make the Strawberry Oatmeal Bars, Drummond uses quick oats and also notes that when you are measuring out the brown sugar, to be sure and pack it into the measuring cup so you “get as much in there” as you can.
Give her strawberry oatmeal bars a try and you’ll see they really are “so easy you won’t believe it.”
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