“No flour, no Torah; no Torah, no flour.” – Pirkei Avot 3:21
1½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) parve margarine, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
½ cup currants
½ cup chopped walnuts
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan. Line it with parchment paper, leaving about 1-inch overhanging the two long sides.
Combine the flour, oats, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat the margarine, sugar and maple syrup in a larger bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and orange zest, beating well. Stir in the dry ingredients, followed by the currents and walnuts.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is uniformly golden (the edges will be browner) and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and cool completely before slicing.
Makes 3 dozen 1½-inch x 2-inch bars.
Adapted from Sarah Kate Gillingham-Ryan’s The Greyston Bakery Cookbook (Rodale). I like quick cooking Irish oatmeal which is a bit chewier than its rolled cousin, but should not be confused with instant oatmeal. The orange zest gives nuance to the flavors. It may cling to the beaters. You don’t want to lose it. I don’t glaze the bars which are perfect just as they are.
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