Beaches and Bars: Hampton Beach and Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

Getting three friends together for a picnic requires some advanced planning. We all have significant others with busy schedules, and some of us have kids with their own internal napping patterns that make impromptu gatherings a bit of a challenge.  But we finally found a day to all hang out in Prospect Park.  
It was a really nice time. The weather cooperated and the kids were in great spirits. My friend Alice and her fiancรฉ (who is a professional chef in the city) were in charge of the main course(s). They made a vegetarian pasta with red pepper, zucchini, eggplant and cheese (yum) and meatball burgers that were topped with a homemade salsa verde sauce, which my husband said were out-of-this-world. I made a French Potato Salad and a refreshing Chilled Cucumber Soup. My other friend Jeanne was in charge of dessert and she brought these Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars-- and they were fantastic. 
knew I had to make them, so here they are!  They are great for a summer picnic or a trip to the beach. We took them to Hampton Beach, a little beach that is part of the 18 mile coastline in New Hampshire. Enjoy!   

Delicious Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars (Courtesy of Allrecipes)
Serves 12 (though next time I'm going to double the recipe)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 8 inch square pan, and line with greased foil.
Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Rub in the butter using your hands or a pastry blender to form a crumbly mixture. Press 2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top, and lightly press it into the jam.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned.  Allow to cool before cutting into bars.