After the peanut butter cookies were eaten in a mere couple hours (ok, maybe 48 hours, thanks to mom and brother) I had an urge to make these oat bars. My mom begs me to stop baking sometimes because she doesn’t want to eat them all! (She ate three of the peanut butter & chocolate chip cookies in a matter of seconds. Sorry mom!) But I can always send them to work with my brother, if she really wants them out of the house! (she doesn’t.)
I made these a few times this summer, after I had seen them in the Kraft Canada Magazine Fesitve 2007 issue. This time I didn’t have any cranberries on hand so I used raisins. Both are really yummy because you soak them in orange juice before baking. And I was sad to find no oats, so I used three single serving packages of brown sugar instant oatmeal (each servings is 1/2 cup.) They are great to pack in lunches. I took some to class (and secretly ate them in the bio lab. Shh!!) I also added some shredded coconut. You can add pretty much anything you like, but no peanuts this time. I think i had my day with those. No more.
- 1 cup dried cranberries ( You can also substitute raisins for cranberries)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- 3/4 cup Butter
- 1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 squares semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or chocolate chips)
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
PREHEAT oven to 350ºF. Combine cranberries and orange juice in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30 sec. Let stand 10 min. Meanwhile, combine flour, oats, baking powder and salt; set aside. Beat margarine and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing well after each addition. Stir in cranberry mixture, chocolate and pecans.
SPREAD dough firmly into 13×9-inch baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
BAKE 20 to 22 min. or until centre is set. Cool completely on wire rack before cutting to serve.
You will want to check them at about 20 minutes, but they will probably need a bit longer. I baked mine for about 24 minutes, then turned off the oven and let them continue baking for a few more minutes. You want the middle to no longer look ‘wet’ and make sure it is all set in the middle before you take them out to cool.
These are great for kids to bring to school in lunches, and also for an after school snack. They are a “healthy living” recipe from Kraft Canada.