Oatmeal Rhubarb Crumble Bars

Prior to last month, my desire for rhubarb was probably at about a -5 on a scale of 1-10. I just don’t find sour, hot pink, gigantic celery sticks appealing. I know, I’m weird.

 But it turns out my parents planted a ridiculous amount of the stuff, so of course my mom brought over the excess as a gift…along with this recipe.

Now, I wasn’t exactly thrilled with my little “gift”, but my mom’s a smart woman, so I decided to give it a go. Whew boy am I glad I did! Thanks to that unwanted surplus, I now love rhubarb!

Well, at least I love rhubarb when it’s cooked in a hot tub of vanilla sugar water, smothered in sweet crumbly oats, and then served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Hey, I never said my love was unconditional.

Oatmeal Rhubarb Crumble Bars
Yield: About 24 bars
Recipe by bakeeatrepeat.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
For the crust:
1/2 cup chopped nuts ( I used walnuts)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

For the filling:
3 cups chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: 
1. Grease a 13 x 9 in pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl mix together nuts, oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda. Use your fingers, two forks, or a pastry cutter to work the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly. Pat half the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan.
3. In a sauce pan combine rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is almost clear (this took me about 15-20 minutes). Stir in vanilla.
4. Pour filling over crust. Place remaining crumbs on top.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

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