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Oat Nut and Fruit Cookie Bar Recipe
There are points in our lives when we need to bake something that will feed a crowd. Do you need a bazillion cookies? Maybe you're having a get-together with friends or a neighborhood party. Perhaps your PTA needs you to feed the teachers or you have a church potluck. Whatever the occasion, these Oat Nut and Fruit Cookie Bars can be your go-to recipe. Easy to assemble, not too expensive to make, these tasty bars will do the trick for you.
Oat Nut and Fruit Cookie Bar Recipe
1 cup butter (Use real butter, not margarine.)
1 cup coconut oil (I use Kirkland Signature.)
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla (I use Kirkland Signature.)
¼ cup molasses
2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour ( I use Wheat Montana's Prairie Gold.)
1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
5 cups old fashioned oats (I use Quaker.)
1 cup toasted walnut or pecan pieces (Toasting is optional, but it does taste better.)
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup craisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Chop or break the nuts into the size that you prefer. I like mine coarsely chopped to a rather large size. Put the nuts on a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir the nuts. Repeat until the nuts start smelling toasty. Be careful. Don't burn them. Set the nuts aside to cool.
Melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave. Measure the coconut oil by displacement. Add a cup of water to a 2 cup measuring cup. Then, add chunks of coconut oil until the water comes up to the 2 cup line. Drain the water out, then add the coconut oil chunks to the melted butter. Stir until the coconut oil has melted into the butter. You might need to zap it for a moment in the microwave to get it to melt together. You don't want your fats to be hot, but lukewarm is okay. Whisk in the brown sugar until all of the lumps are gone. Then, whisk in the white sugar, vanilla, eggs, and molasses. Set the bowl aside.
Into a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. After these dry ingredients are combined, stir them gradually into the fat and sugar mixture until both mixtures are just well blended. Add the nuts, raisins, and craisins at the same time. Use a sturdy spoon to incorporate these ingredients into the fat and flour mixture. Add the oats. Stir. I use clean hands to finish the job, since the dough is quite stiff. Feel free to use food handling gloves, if you don't like the feel of dough on your hands.
Spray a heavy aluminum jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray. I use a Nordic Ware Bakers Half Sheet. It's about 13 by 18 inches. Press the dough evenly into the jelly roll pan. Place the pan into the preheated oven. Bake 35 minutes and check the pan. The bars will start to pull away from the sides of the pan, and the edges will be lightly browned. If this hasn't happened, let them cook another 5 minutes. Do not cook these until the center is hard.
Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars with a sharp knife. I cut 70 small bars. This is one place where size matters! Also, do not let the bars cool completely before cutting. They could be too hard to cut!
After the bars have finished cooling in the pan, remove them, using a flexible spatula, to a tightly closed container. If you want them to have a bit of icing, an hour before they will be served, place them on a plate and drizzle or spread some vanilla icing on top.
I took the non-iced version of these to work with me to celebrate my first anniversary on the job at Costco. People just loved them. One of my co-workers said that she and another supervisor just kept eating them and saying, "These are really good! We need to stop eating them. Mmmm, here's another one!" I hope that you take pleasure in making them a part of a great sandwich meal.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Connie Mistler Davidson. All rights reserved.
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