Every once in a while though, I find myself craving something that relates to an image or colour. After this morning's post about cherry blossoms, I found myself staring into the pantry on the search for something pink.
The closest I could come was cranberries - of which there were very few left. But it wasn't just pink I was after, but something slightly floral too. Almond extract would suit that purpose.
Oatmeal Almond Cranberry Bars
(loosely inspired by epicurious)
1 cup oats
½ cup flour (I used whole wheat because it was closer to the front of the cupboard than white)
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup chopped dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped toasted almonds
¼ cup flaked unsweetened coconut
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tbsp almond butter
½ tsp almond extract
½ tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line an 8x8 pan with aluminum foil (make sure you have an overhang so you can easily remove the bars later) and grease with butter.
2. In a large bowl, stir together first eight ingredients (through salt).
3. In a separate bowl, stir together remaining ingredients.
4. Pour wet ingredients over dry. Stir until just together. Dump mixture into pan, and pat into place.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Lift the foil and bars out of the pan, and let cool on a rack.
Cut into 16 squares.
The almond extract adds a lovely sweetness and tone to these oatmeal bars, and the almond butter helps to keep them moist.
Really though, this is a very adaptable recipe. You could replace the almonds and cranberries with chocolate chips and walnuts, with dried apricots and pecans, with just about anything. Why not try white chocolate and cranberry?