Back-to-School Raspberry Granola Bars, from The Craft of Baking

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan

1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 ¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats

½ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup raspberry preserves (or plum raspberry)

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. 

 

In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

 

Spread the pecans on a baking sheet.  Bake until lightly golden and fragrant, about five minutes.  Cool the sheet completely on a wire rack.

 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and pecans.  Pour in the melted butter, and using a wooden spoon, mix together until well combined.  Transfer about two thirds of the dough to the prepared baking pan.  Press the dough evenly into the pan, forming a firmly packed layer.

 

Using an offset or rubber spatula, spread the preserves over the dough.  Evenly sprinkle the remaining dough over the preserves.  Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the top is golden brown and fragrant, about forty minutes (mine took more like forty-five minutes).  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool completely.  Then cut into two-inch squares.

 

The bars can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.