Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

Growing up, my grandma always had a few rhubarb patches, so my brother and I would always enjoy an infinite number of rhubarb-infused desserts when we stayed there in the summer. Since she passed away and my parents sold the estate, rhubarb has become more of a delicacy for us. Being that my mom works at the post office, she meets a lot of different people who garden and whatnot. As luck would have it, one of her acquaintances grows rhubarb. Now, every summer, she gives my mom about a dozen stalks to make dessert. While I have tried a few different recipes, this one has become one of my absolute favorites.

Crumb Mixture:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1-1/4 cups oatmeal
1 package maple and brown sugar oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup shortening

3 cups rhubarb
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine the first seven ingredients for the crust. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until crumbly. Press half of the mixture into a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish, reserving the other half of the mixture for the topping. For the filling, combine the rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan. Cook until clear. Blend in vanilla. Pour over crust. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.


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