Spring is Coming: Oatmeal Citrus Cream Bars

I’ve seen these oatmeal lemon creme bars floating around the Internet lately, and I even devoured a few made by a good friend a few weeks back. There’s just something about tangy lemon, crunchy oatmeal, and sweetened condensed milk that tastes GOOD. They’re a nice departure from the standard lemon square, and I’m always looking for a crowd pleaser.


(photo credit)

K’s baby dedication is today, and I whipped these up as part of our dessert table. But, as with every recipe I make, I needed to adapt it a little. Partly because I like to experiment, and partly because I ran out of ingredients. So without further ado…

Oatmeal Citrus-Cream Bars

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp grated lemon peel (2 lemons)
2 tbsp grated lime peel (2 limes)
1/4 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup lime juice (2 limes)

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until crumbly. This mixture should hold together fairly well.

In the bottom of a lined, greased 9×13 pan, press 1/2 of the oatmeal mixture. Bake this base for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until just browned around the edges.

While the crust is baking, whisk together the condensed milk, lemon & lime peel, and lemon & lime juices. Pour this mixture over the crust (while still hot), and sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture over top. Press down slightly, and return to the oven. Bake the bars for an additional 25 minutes. Let cool completely (or better yet, refrigerate) before slicing.

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