Start of something good

***Updated to include recipe on September 3, 2010***

"I think you just might be on to something here," I say to myself, marveling at the sugary crunch and berry burst of that first bite.

Then I remember: I've been down this path before.

"Good thing you're older and wiser now," I think, and smile.

Berry Oat Bars

1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cups large-flake rolled oats
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
zest of 1 lime (you'll use the juice below)
1 cup salted butter, slightly softened

700 grams fresh berries (I used 2/3 blueberries, 1/3 raspberries)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9" x 13" glass baking pan with parchment.

In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, rolled oats, flour, baking powder and lime zest. Cut the butter into cubes and then add it to the dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender, a fork or your fingertips to blend the mixture until it forms clumps. If you find things are particularly sticky, sprinkle a little extra flour on top and work it into the mixture.

Press half of this oat mixture into the prepared pan, using a little more if necessary to completely cover the bottom of the pan.

In a second large bowl, stir together the white sugar, cornstarch and lime juice. Wash the berries and shake off any excess water before adding them to the mixture. Stir carefully to coat, but not crush, the berries.

Spread the berry mixture evenly over the oat base. Form the remaining oat mixture into small clusters and toss them over top of the berries, pressing lightly to ensure they are stuck in place.

Bake until lightly browned (approximately 45-55 minutes).

Serve warm in a bowl with ice cream/whipped cream/crème fraîche and a spoon, or cool and cut into squares.

Note: I like these cold, straight from the fridge, but feel free to keep them at room temperature if you prefer.

Source: The Casual Baker.