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Russian, Eastern European and international cuisine brought to you by a mother and a daughter

Oatmeal Bars with Dried Cherries and Walnuts, and Merry Christmas to everyone!

Dried Cherry Oatmeal Bars

With this post (which is going to be a little bit chaotic, as there’s so much I’ve got to tell you!) we are taking a short break until January. I am off to Slovakia on Friday (via Vienna - do you think I’ll still catch the winter sales this weekend?!) and will be back just a few days before the New Year. Being a Russian Orthodox, I celebrate Christmas on 6/7th of January, so there’s still plenty of time until Christmas for me. Anyway, I’m certainly going to participate in Christmas celebrations while I’m in Slovakia, and then spend a cosy New Year’s Eve together with my family. Sure we’re going to bake and cook a lot for New Year’s Eve, so expect new posts in the beginning of January ;-)

Speaking about travel, I’ve just read there’ll be direct flights from Riga to Belgrade starting from May 2010 – I’m so excited! I’ve always wanted to visit Serbia, and voila – they’re opening this new destination specially for me! :)

In this post I would also like to thank Barbara Rolek, the Guide to Eastern European Food at About.com, for mentioning our website. You can’t imagine how excited I was when Barbara wrote and let us know she was going to include RussianSeason in her latest list of blogs to watch for. Barbara is a professional cook, food writer and restaurant critic. Be sure to check out her Top10 (Eastern European) Foodie Gifts!

I’m not sure I will have the opportunity to spend a lot of time online while I’m away – I bet that you wouldn’t be often seen online either if you had only 10 days to see the Tatra mountains, visit Vienna, and learn a bunch of Slovak recipes! So, just a few technical notes: if you posted a comment and it never got published – don’t worry, it’s probably my Akismet module which sometime filters out good comments. I’ve got to approve them manually afterwards. Also, if you have a comment or a question to ask, please feel free to email us, I’ll reply when I come back (I *love* hearing from our readers!)

Before leaving, I’ve made two large pans of baked goods for my friends. I’d been thinking of some simple, homely goodies that would not be too fragile and yet look/taste festive. So I decided on Lazy Pahlava and Oatmeal Bars with dried cherries and walnuts, which evolved from a plain oatmeal cookie recipe. Those translucent dried cherries bring a Christmas note and add a fruity flavour to the bars, while the walnuts kind of merge with the oats and create that nutty aroma.

We wish a very happy Christmas to everyone! Thank you very much for being out there, cooking, inspiring, reading, commenting! See you soon! ^_^

Dried Cherry Oatmeal Bars

 

Ingredients

220g butter, room temperature
300g sugar
5 eggs, yolks and whites separated; egg whites chilled
500g rolled oats
3 tbsp wheat flour
1 tsp vanilla sugar
150g dried cherries
100g walnuts, diced

30×35 cm baking pan

 

In a large deep skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter and add the oats. Toast the oats on a medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring every now and then. The oats should be only slightly toasted, there’s no need to cook them until they change their colour. Leave to cool.

Rolled Oats

Stir the remaining butter together with sugar, vanilla sugar, and egg yolks. Keep stirring until well-blended and until the sugar melts.
Add in the oats, stir well.

Toasted oats and batter

Add flour.

Toasted oats and flour

Add cherries and walnuts.

Dried cherries, walnuts, and oats

Mix for oatmeal bars

Beat the chilled egg whites until firm. Gently stir the egg whites into the oats&berries mix. Don’t stir too much, just be sure to distribute the whites evenly.

Oatmeal cookie mix

oatmeal bars raw

Put the mix onto prepared baking pan and bake on a low heat for 35 minutes.

Dried cherry oatmeal bars

Dried cherry oatmeal bars

Dried cherry oatmeal bars

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Category: Beyond Eastern Europe, Pastry

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15 Responses

  1. Thank you for the lovely mention, Natalia and Alina
    ! As always, your blog is looking great. Keep up the good work!

    Barbara Rolek
    Guide to Eastern European Food
    About.com/The New York Times Company

  2. Merry Christmas and enjoy your trip! See you next year!

  3. Wow looks so yummy! Merry Christmas!

  4. zerrin says:

    Hope you’re enjoying your trip. These oatmeal bars look superb! I love that they are not so fragile, I can take some to school to share with colleagues.
    Happy new year to you and your family.

  5. Alina says:

    Barbara, thank you once again!
    Miriam, thank you! How was your Christmas? I haven’t had the time to check your updates yet - been cooking a New Year’s cake all day long :)
    Primary Work at Home, thanks!
    Zerrin, cheers! Happy New Year to you too! Yeah the trip was fabulous, I’m definitely going to post some pictures later in this blog. And so you work in school?..

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