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Jun 14, 2012 11:57 AM

Five ingredient cookies that everyone loves

This is a quickie bar cookie that I've made forever, and always get groans of appreciation. I don't know where the name came from, it's a family recipe from about 40 years ago. It literally took me less time to prepare this morning than the oven took to preheat.

English Matrimonials

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup cold butter

3/4 cup preserves (I use my homemade strawberry or peach)

Stir dry ingredients together, cut in butter till crumbly. Press half of mixture firmly into 8" greased square pan. Spread preserves on top, keeping preserves away from the edges by about 1/4" (it sticks to the pan), sprinkle the rest of the sugar/oats mixture evenly on top of preserves and press again.
Bake at 325' for 45 minutes. Cut when cool into small bars.

If you want them pretty, cut off the edges (you get to eat all those yourself).
Don't use margarine - it makes them soggy instead of crispy.

The crumbs are wonderful over vanilla ice cream or mixed into Greek yogurt.

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  1. That sounds great! I'll definitely try it out.

    I have a similar recipe from Sunset Magazine. You make a shortbread base (so no rolled oats), press it into a pan, cover with apricot jam, and cover with a topping made of flour, sugar, and pecans. Last time I made them, I remember remarking to my daughter that they were the easiest things I'd ever baked.

    1. Add fresh sliced strawberries to the top of the jam layer and then add the rest of the sugar/oats and this recipe was demonstrated on television this afternoon, they called it a Jamble.

      7 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        You know, I've never put anything but jam inside. Do you think the fresh fruit would make it wet, though? I don't have TV anymore, but I could look for it online. What show was it?

        1. re: jmcarthur8

          Once the jam and fresh strawberries were added and then the crumble added on top the entire fruit mixture broke down into a thicker jam and the crumble baked golden brown on top. The recipe wasn't wet, more like a fresher jam by adding the fresh fruit.

          Carla demonstrated this on today's episode of The Chew.

          Although it's called a shortbread bar, Carla called it a Jamble on air. The video above the recipe runs thru the entire step by step.

          1. re: HillJ

            Thanks, Hillj, I will take a look at that when I get home from work.

            (wish I'd brought some to work with me!)

            1. re: HillJ

              That recipe looks good, too, HillJ. Just watched the video. Funny, when I zest my lemons, there's no sexy voice.....

              I love almonds, and usually have some in the fridge or pantry, so I just may try this dessert sometime. Thanks for the link!

              1. re: jmcarthur8

                Happy to help out, jmc. I have that same dilemma when I zest lemons...I must be doing something wrong :)

                I did a strawberry rhubarb version for brunch and it was really tasty.

                1. re: HillJ

                  Oh, dear. You got me with the rhubarb.. later, gotta run to the store now and get some!

            2. re: jmcarthur8

              Carla used almond flour in place of oats.

          2. The name matrimonial squares is for something similar to a date square, but any fruit can be used for the filing. I agree, they are yummy and easy!

            1. These sound wonderful, thanks for sharing. Do the bars/squares hold together well once cut up? I'd like to make these for spouse to take on the golf course as a snack and he prefers tidy, easy to eat snacks that don't crumble and that don't get his hands dirty.

              2 Replies
              1. re: janniecooks

                janniecooks, I hate to say this, but they are not tidy! (They are delicious, though!)

                1. re: jmcarthur8

                  Oh, darn, I will just have to make them for his home snacks. I'm always looking for appropriate, calorie-dense snacks for my spouse and these fit the bill, just not for the golf bag. Thanks again for sharing!

              2. I make a similar recipe that I call "Apricot Oat bars"
                The preserves are Apricot jam... to which I chop up about 10-12 dried apricots to add in.
                Also I add 1 cup of finely chopped pecans into the flour /oatmeal mixture. Absolutely Delicious.

                1 Reply
                1. re: easily amused

                  Right up my alley easily a! I have apricot "ears" in my freezer and you've got me thinking it's time to defrost and use em !