Although our creation of Jalapeno Oatmeal Bars did not make it to the finals for the Z'Tejas Chile Fest competition, we are rather proud of them and think they are darn tasty. Looks like a normal filled bar cookie that hits with sucker punch of heat from pepper jelly (use store bought or make your own) and sliced jalapenos. Encased in oatmeal cookie, this bar is a stack of delicious complexity that keeps you coming back for more. We suggest a double batch.
Sweet and Spicy Jalapeno Oatmeal Cookie Bars
YIELD: 9 Bar Cookies
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sweet pepper jelly
2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour and baking soda; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar over medium speed. Add the egg, then vanilla. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Turn the speed down to low, and slowly begin adding the reserved oat mixture. Yoto finish mixing the dry ingredients in by hand.
Press about 1/2 of the oat dough into the bottom of an ungreased 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Spread jelly evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/4 inch border. Sprinkle jalapeno over the top of the jelly. Grab remaining dough in clumps and flatten in your hands. Place on top of jam layer, creating an even layer, completely covering the jelly-jalapeno layer.
Bake for 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Cool completely on a on a wire rack. Slice into 9 bars.