I grew up eating these chewy, crunchy, jammy squares of yumminess. My Mom, Clare Castleberry was making them for our Lunch Boxes at least 55 years ago. They are wonderful with just about any flavor of jam you like but Mom made them with either Concord Grape jelly which we made by the bucket growing up in the grape country of Western New York State, or with my very favorite, homemade Black Raspberry Jam. The bars travel well and hold up nicely for picnics and pot luck church suppers. I made them frequently for my family over the years and they are well loved. My Mom gave me her recipe 40 years ago this month. Don’t ask me how I know that, but it’s true. I did not steal her recipe, it was happily given to me. Really, it was! I have only made one modification and that is to use ½ cup butter and ¼ cup of vegetable shortening instead of the “oleo” which I have not used in the past 40 years! I hope they become a family favorite for you too.
Bake at 375 F for 25 min until golden brown. Makes a 9×13 baking pan
Oatmeal Jam Struesel Bars
- In a Medium size mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry cutter or alternately use your food processor and pulse until the fats are well incorporated. Stir in the nuts and the oatmeal.
- Remove and reserve 1 ½ cups for the topping. Press remaining mixture evenly over the bottom of your 9x13 inch pan. Spread jam evenly and carefully over the top of the crumb mixture. Some jams spread easier than others but be persistent and you will prevail! Sometimes using clean fingers to help spread the jam is helpful. Just saying…..
- Sprinkle the remaining crumbs evenly over the top and pop her in the oven for 25 minutes. Cool completely then cut into squares. Be sure and sample one before the kids get home from baseball practice to make sure they are edible. Ha! You may want to hide 2 or 3 more in the Laundry Room in case your blood sugar drops while you’re folding socks. HaHa!