Thursday, January 10, 2008

Oatmeal Bars

I've been sharing these bars lately, and they disappear so fast.  I developed the recipe after buying a box of Quaker Oatmeal Squares to try them out.  We found the Quaker ones to be too sweet and more cookie-like than we prefer for breakfast, so I started experimenting.  Here's the result so far.  But anyone who knows me and how I cook will know that no two batches ever turn out the same, since I cook by the Zen Cooking philosphy (i.e. what feels like it belongs in the mix today?  Yeah, I know it's not really Zen, but that's what it got named in college...)

Breakfast Oatmeal Bars Basic Base

1 stick butter
3/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 c flour
4 c oatmeal

Cream together the butter and brown sugar, add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix in the salt and baking soda.  Blend in the flour.  Finally, mix in the oatmeal.  Dump the whole thick mess out onto a cookies sheet, press it into a sheet about 1/2" thick, and bake at 375F until the top begins to brown.

This Basic Base recipe will make a fairly boring, though relatively healthy, bar.  For variation and flavor, I usually add several fo the following:

2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/2-1 c raisins, currants, Craisins, or other dried fruit
an extra tsp of vanilla
honey instead of brown sugar
1 Tbs molasses

My last batch included currants and nutmeg, and they were GONE!

Really - the possibilities are limited only by your pantry, and your imagination.  Let me know if you like this recipe, and what you come up with to flavor them!  I would love to know!


Jenni said...

Those sound really good, but are they the crunchy kind or the chewy kind?

highflyinsm said...

this from the woman who served me chocolate muffins for breakfast last time I visited? :)

These sound good though, I will have to try them out in my "spare" time.

historicstitcher said...

These are thick-chewy, not crunchy at all. They're more like a heavy bread than a crisp cookie. Very filling, but yummy.

And Mary? I've laid off the chocolate muffins (aka Breakfast Cupcakes) since stepping on the scale...

Julie said...

Whenever I am baking and think "What should I add...?" the answer is, inevitably, toffee chips. I'm sure they'd be good in those oatmeal bars, too.

Though not particularly healthy.