Isabella’s Cookie Bars

27 Jan

Isabella loves cookie bars.  A cookie bar is Bella-speak for a chocolate chip granola bar.   She eats a lot of them, enough, in fact,  that they have come up on my radar as something I should try to make at home.  A challenge.  I suspected that we had most of the ingredients at home already and I was right.  I am very happy with the results.  The recipe is courtesy of Deb at smitten kitchen via King Arthur Flour.  Both are fantastic resources.

I just went with it when it came to mixing in additions, I basically added every ingredient in my pantry that made sense to add to a granola bar.  Chocolate chips, since they were my hook in getting Isabella to eat them, raisins and flaked, unsweetened coconut for interest and flavor, puffed rice for texture and flax seeds for health.

These are still a work in progress.  I really like the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach that I took with this batch, but I am curious to taste bars that are a little more tailored.   Coconut, crystalized ginger and dark chocolate.  Dried cranberries, orange zest and pistachios.  Almonds, dried cherries and white chocolate.  The constants will be the puffed rice and flax seeds.  The rice adds airiness and crunch and the flax seeds have so many health benefits and a slightly nutty quality.

I am not fooled into thinking that these are the epitome of health food.  They have quite a bit of sugar and some butter — but a lot less than my traditional cookies and they come with the added benefit that I know what went into them.  That, plus the fact that  the majority of the ingredients have some kind of  health benefit means that I will add these will become a regular addition to our baking line up.  Bella really likes them, eats them with out question.  She calls them cookies, and honestly, who am I to correct her?

Isabella’s Cookie Bars

Based on the recipe by smitten kitchen

1 2/3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup oat flour, or 1/3 cup oatmeal ground in the food processor

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 -3 cups dried fruit, nuts and seeds (and chocolate chips) 10 – 15 oz total

1/3 cup peanut butter

6 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 tablespoon water

Pre-heat your oven to 350º.  Spray at 9 x 13 oven safe pan with non-stick spray.  Or line with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix, on low-speed, with the paddle attachment until combined and ingredients are evenly mixed.

Turn into the prepared dish and pat down until even.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until slightly golden.

Let cool completely and cut into squares.  Enjoy!


One Response to “Isabella’s Cookie Bars”

  1. Erica January 27, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    I love SmittenKitchen. Looking forward to making these (maybe without the chocolate chips, since Molly still doesn’t know what chocolate tastes like, lol).

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