Strawberry Crumb Bars

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (or almonds or walnuts)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 12 pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x9 glass pan with parchment paper, leaving enough paper to hang over the edges slightly. Lightly spray the parchment with spray oil.

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the flour, oats, sugars, baking soda, salt and nuts.

With the mixer on low speed, add the butter and vanilla and beat until well-combined. The mixture should look a bit like wet sand.

Press two-thirds of the batter into the prepared pan. Make sure it spreads evenly to the edges and corners of the pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until just golden. Remove from the oven and spread the preserves evenly over the top of the crust.

Sprinkle the remaining dough on top of the preserves and bake, rotating the pan 180* half-way through the baking time, for an additional 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool completely on a wire rack. To remove from the pan pull up gently on the parchment paper flaps. Slice into squares.

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