Monday, April 6, 2015

Rhubarb Oatmeal Cookie Bars

A few years ago my Dad moved to a new house and was kind enough to pull up his rhubarb plants and donate them to me. I have appreciated that gesture ever since, and feel lucky to have fresh rhubarb growing right in my yard. Rhubarb is one of the first things ready for harvest in the spring, and I am so excited when the first stalks are big enough to cut.

This cookie bar is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the tart fresh flavor of rhubarb; it is so good between two oatmeal cookie layers. This recipe is a spring spin on my cranberry apple cookie bars, which are a fall favorite.

Rhubarb Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Filling Ingredients:

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup natural sugar
3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb
1 tbsp cornstarch - mixed with 2 tbsp cold water until there are no lumps

Filling Directions:

Combine the water and the sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a low boil to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar is dissolved, add the rhubarb and stir often as it heats through. After just a few minutes the rhubarb will begin to soften. Add the cornstarch and cold water mix to the rhubarb and keep stirring until the mixture begins to get a jelly like consistency - not too jelled, because you want some moisture still in there, but let it definitely start to pull together. This whole process only took ten minutes for me. Taste the mixture to see if the sweetness is to your liking. I prefer a tart filling for the cookie bars, so I do not add more sugar but go for it if you want. Set the rhubarb mixture aside to cool.

Cookie Bar Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups flour (a blend of whole wheat and white is nice here)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vegan margarine
3 tbsp orange juice

Cookie Bar Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9" by 13" baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients (oatmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt) together and add the sugar. Cut in the margarine with your hands or a pastry blender until you have a crumbly dough. Then take 1 1/2 cups of that dough and set it aside to sprinkle over the top later. Then add the 3 tbsp of orange juice to the remaining dough and mix to incorporate it. It will still be a crumbly dough, but will be easier to press into your baking dish. Press the wetter dough into the bottom of your baking pan, spread the rhubarb jelly over the dough in the pan, and then sprinkle the reserved crumbly dough on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top and edges are starting to turn a light golden brown. Let the bars cool in the pan, cut into 18 bars and enjoy. These are great topped with some non-dairy vanilla ice cream as well.

For 18 bars. Nutritional information from

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 62 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 7%Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 4%Iron 5%
Nutrition Grade B
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

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