Baked Oatmeal Bars

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So, Dave (my husband !!!!! ???? !!!!!) totally called me out this weekend on my obsession with bars.  Not the fun kind of bar to be obsessed with… but the kind of bar you eat when you’re like me and are constantly on the go.  I just can’t help myself.  There are literally thousands of types and the flavor options are endless! Recently, I discovered a new favorite that happens to be pretty healthy too.  I absolutely have to tell you about them.  They’re called “Go Macro” bars and I’ve tried almost every flavor… for those of us who can handle foods that taste “healthy”, these are pretty darn good.  They aren’t super sweet so if you’re looking for a candy bar type meal replacement, this one’s not for you.

In an attempt to make my own bars this weekend, I tried out a modified version of the Baked Oatmeal recipe from Cooking Light.  They couldn’t be easier to whip up and bake on a football Sunday afternoon.  I cut these babies up into 8 triangle shaped bars and we have been enjoying the heck out of them this week!  I think next time, I’ll try with less sugar and to add some ground flax too?  The opportunities are endless. 🙂 While I don’t think these bars can replace my love for on-the-go bars… they are so delicious!

Baked Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups Uncooked Old-Fashioned Oats
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup Craisins (reduced sugar)
3 Tablespoons Chopped Walnuts
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 1/2 cups Skim Milk
1/2 cup All Natural No Sugar Added Apple Sauce
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
1 large Egg, beaten

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375°.
2.  Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the milk, applesauce, butter, and egg in another bowl. Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well.
3.  Pour oat mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Check on the bars after 20 minutes and if the top starts to brown, place a piece of foil ontop and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from:  Cooking Light

Makes 8 Servings

 

Looks good already...

Looks good already…

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

Dark Chocolate Cherry-Berry Oatmeal Cookies

This Holiday Season, I participated in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  The Cookie Swap is a seriously delicious Food Blogger’s version of Pen Pals.  I cooked up 3 dozen cookies, sent them out to 3 different food bloggers, and 3 other food bloggers sent me cookies!!

As if getting 3-dozen cookies isn’t reason enough to participate, the Cookie Swap raises money for the charity “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” which OXO (the company that makes my absolute favorite coffee to-go mug ever btw) will match up to $100,000!  I loved hearing this so I was signed up right away!

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The cookies I baked up were based on this yummy Heart-Healthy recipe from Cooking Light.  The funny thing about baking these cookies were that I totally forgot I had to make THREE dozen for the swap, not TWO.  I baked JUST over 3 dozen, so instead of having a leftover 15-ish cookies… I only had 4!  I guess it was for the best though, because these cookies are really really good… I would have eaten too many 🙂

Dark Chocolate Cherry-Berry Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup) 
  • 1.5 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1/3 cup) 
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  • 1/2 bag dark chocolate chips
  • cooking spray 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Spoon flours into dry measuring cups and level. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add brown sugar, stirring until smooth. It will completely combine well with only a small layer of melted butter ontop.  
  4. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add cherries and cranberries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips. Drop dough by Tablespoonfulls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat.
  6. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.
Whisk your dry ingredients to mix the flours and the oats together

Whisk your dry ingredients to mix the flours and the oats together

I loved the combination of the sweet cherries and the sour cranberries with dark chocolate

I loved the combination of the sweet cherries and the sour cranberries with dark chocolate

You can see how crumbly these are!

You can see how crumbly these are!

Stelly is a kitchen pup!  She waited patiently with me while the cookies baked in the oven.

Stelly is a kitchen pup! She waited patiently with me while the cookies baked in the oven.

Yummmmm!  I LOVE my Silpat.  If you don't have any, pick two sheets up ASAP!  Nothing sticks to them.  The best.

Yummmmm! I LOVE my Silpat. If you don’t have any, pick two sheets up ASAP! Nothing sticks to them. The best.

A few notes I have to share with you… these cookies might be on the healthier side, but they are REALLY tasty!  I found the batter to be very crumbly, to the point where I had trouble at times making the cookies into scoops to drop.  I was worried they would fall apart, but they DO NOT.  So, it’s okay if yours turn out a little crumbly!  Also, I did try a few cookies where I rolled them into a ball (when they were super-fally-aparty) and they did not turn out as pretty as the drop.

I will certainly whip these up again, next time making more leftovers for us 🙂

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

The cookies I received for the swap were so yummy!  I wanted to give these awesome bloggers a little shout-out because their cookies really made my day.

I would have loved to say I had a picture of these really interesting Vanilla Cardamom Cookies but between myself and all of our moving crew/family ate them all!  They were so good!  I never would have thought to put Cardamom (do I even have Cardamom??  Probably  not!) into crisp vanilla cookies, but I’m glad Molly did!  You can find more of her recipes and blog posts on Bytes and Bites.  Good luck on your finals, Molly!

White Chocolate Chunkies were from Katheryn @ The Baker’s Sheet.  How cute is her blog name?  She has plenty of other recipes on her blog that I’m dying to try (especially those Pumpkin Bars!)

*Unfortunately (or luckily for my diet, I can’t decide which), I only received two of my three batches of cookies for the swap so far! *

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bakes

Okay, so if you’re following me on Facebook and saw this picture this week…

You’re probably pretty excited to see this recipe by now!

If you don’t follow me on Facebook… you should do it now.  Go ahead… click it!  While you’re at it, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest too 🙂

Mom made these cookies a few months ago for the first time, but I totally forgot to take pics or write down the recipe… so I had to try to find them again.  This recipe is the FIRST one that comes up on google, and there is totally a reason:  they are awesome.

They rock for a few reasons:

1.  They take under 15 minutes to make

2.  They are less than 130 calories a piece 

3.  You probably already have all of the ingredients at home

4.  They’re addictively delicious

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

Recipe based on:  Food Network

Makes:  24-30 cookies (I halved their recipe)

1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
1.5 cups oatmeal

1 handful Salted Peanuts

Waxed paper or Silpat

Directions:

1.  In a saucepan, boil the sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk.  Keep an eye on it, you don’t want the sugar to burn.  Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla, peanuts, and oatmeal.

2.  On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by Tablespoon, until cooled and hardened.  Or you can make them smaller for an even cuter, lower calorie little bite-sized snack!

Blueberry Oatmeal in a Mug

Today after my workout I was starving.

Some small meals I like to eat after my workouts in the morning are usually smoothies, yogurt with fruit, or some eggs and toast.

This morning, my Mom suggested we try a recipe she saw on Pinterest.

It was really awesome and I would like to try it in a different variation some time too!  It’s so easy and healthy too.  This recipe ends up adding up to just under 200 calories, but with almost 10 grams of protein.  The best part is that it takes like under 5 minutes to make.  🙂

Blueberry Oatmeal in a Mug

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Quick Oats

1 teaspoon Brown Sugar

1 Egg

1 splash Skim Milk

Handful of Blueberries (washed and dried)

Cinnamon

Directions:

1.  Mix everything in a bowl.  Put it all in a coffee mug.  

2.  Microwave for 2 minutes.  Start watching it around 1 minute in to make sure that it doesn’t totally overflow.  One blueberry popped out of mine, but it turned out fine.  I stopped mine around the 1:50 min. mark.  

YUM!  This was a great change up in my breakfast routine.  I might actually even put some in tupperware and bring it to work to microwave in my mug there.

I flipped it out on a plate and added a little extra cinnamon 🙂

Great way to use some fresh blueberries

A little dab of light butter will make this reallllly fabulous