I cannot resist the gorgeous California strawberries that seem to be everywhere in Carlsbad. These are lovely Valentine treats for any and all of your Valentines! The strawberry jam from the homemade strawberries just adds beautiful flavor. This recipe has been closely adapted from the bakefeed.

Strawberry Dream Dessert

16 squares


for bars:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups old-fashioned oats
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1¾ cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1 cup homemade strawberry jam

for strawberry jam:

  • 16 ounces fresh strawberries , chopped and diced
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice


for jam:

In a medium saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar, and orange juice. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking stirring frequently and mashing berries with a potato masher, until the mixture mixture thickens and is reduced from 20 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow jam to cool completely. Extra jam can be refrigerated for about a week.

for bars:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8-inch (nonstick if possible) baking pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, melted butter, sugars, vanilla and salt with a wooden spoon until crumbly. Carefully press half of mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. Top with diced fresh strawberries. Top with 1 cup of an even layer of the strawberry jam. Add the almonds to the crumble and top the jam with the remaining crumble. Bake until golden brown and beginning to bubble 50-55 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before removing pears from baking pan and cutting into squares. Enjoy!