Thursday, June 14, 2012

Simple Cake Mix 6 Grain Jam Crumble Snack Bars

You know what I love about summer? Nothing in Arizona. Well... not the life-sucking death-heat of the Sonora desert or the way my albino  (remember the Albino on Princess Bride?) skin  that turns bright pink the second I walk out of my house. I can tell you that there are days when I think I will burst into flame the second I walk pass the portal of my front door. Yes...I'm violently sucked into a brilliant vortex of white light and space aliens. "Take me to your leader Albino-Scum!"... I'm pretty sure I've watched too much of the Twilight Zone...and X-Files.  I also randomly imagine hairy long-nailed monsters on the wings of my airplane when I travel. Just for the record. I don't like window seats. I do however love those tiny bags of peanuts. They're so cute.

There is a perk to living in the surface of the sun valley of the sun. Phoenix is perfect for summer solar cooking. I love it! See. I DO love something about the heat. I pop my bad-boy Solar Oven on it's cart and wheel it into the yard, pointed the direction of the sun. Here it works likes a crock-pot and I can basically forget about dinner until it is time for dinner. Huge perk for me working full time now. Today however, I decided at 4 AM that it was cool enough in the house to bake some snack bars for the boys. They are home on summer vacation and I wanted them to have little fun goodies to wake up to. Yes...I do wake up that early almost every day. Yes. I know I'm crazy. That is what works for me to be home with the kids and still use the test kitchen. Ironically...I used to do that before I had kids but at a bakery. Somehow it seems more fun when I can still be in my PJ's and bake. Go figure. I haven't yet had any of my fuzzy-neon-pink cupcake-jammie material end up in the cookies. Now...that's funny because today I made jam bars. Not to be confused with jammie bars. Those are fuzzy. These are delicious.

I use my homemade cake mix and the evil-delicious blueberry confection known affectionately by me as Spiced Blueberry Amaretto Jam. You don't have to make your own homemade cake mix or jam. I'm not checking your cupboards. You make what works for you. One box of regular cake mix will work. I also use all natural granular erythritol instead of sugar in most of my baking. It is zero calorie and no carb. It's great for diabetics and for those watching their sugar.

Chef Tess 6 Grain Jam Crumble Bars
4 c 
homemade cake mix (or 1 box store bought)
1 c granulated sugar (or all natural
granular erythritol )
2 c 
6 grain rolled cereal
¼ c  whole flax seed
 ½ c brown sugar
1 egg
1 c melted butter (no substitutions on flavor)
2 c unsweetened jam (I used
Spiced Blueberry Amaretto Jam)

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Yes. These can be baked in a solar oven. Pre-heat it to 350. That will take about 15 minutes.  In a large bowl combine all ingredients except the jam. The mixture will be thick. Reserve 1 ½ cup for the topping.     Using fingertips press the remaining mixture into the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch pan so it reaches all sides. 

  Spread the jam over the crust mixture in a thin layer.

  Pinch off pieces of the reserved mixture and scatter over the jam.

Bake until light brown and bubbling, 35-40 minutes. It will take 45-55 minutes in a solar oven. Allow to cool 30 minutes before cutting.

If you don't wait for them to cool before you cut them, they will just fall apart in mounds of hot buttery delicate grain-confection laced with jam. It's really hard to resist at that point but...ya know. Do what you want. I'm not checking your closets either. 
Yield 24 bars. Let's be honest. It makes 6 bars for a teenage boy.  There you go.

Always My Very Best,
 Your Friend Chef Tess


Anna Marie said...

As a former resident of Arizona I love this post. Nothing is more true about the heat. I really want these bars, but I don't want to turn on my oven. It's just too muggy-more incentive to get that solar oven made.

Keli Martin said...

Ohh! Ohh! I just had a fabulous idea! I could use that chocolate cake mix, right!? And I have TONS of raspberry jelly left over from last year ... you see where I'm going with this?

My only question is ... Would I be able to use quick oats in place of the 6-grain mix?

Can't wait to try these! Thanks so much Stephanie :D

Chef Tess said...

Oh Ann Marie...I know! AZ is evil this time of year. Um...Keli you genius! YES!! You can go chocolate and yes you can use the quick oats. Yum!

SharleneT said...

Guess what the folks at the Market will be tasting from my solar oven soon. Going with the chocolate cake mix and my fig-raspberry jam...

Misty said...

Delicious! I love them. So much so that I linked to them on my site today. THank you!

Misty said...

These were awesome! I love them so much I linked to them on my site today. THanks!

Misty said...

These were awesome! I love them so much I linked to them on my site today. THanks!