Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Have you ever wanted to make a pan of cookie bars so you just made a regular recipe of cookie dough, threw it in a pan and then were disappointed with the final results?  I think it has something to do with the amount of leavening required to make the bars rise enough in a pan vs just as a small cookie on a sheet pan.  Enough science though, let’s talk dessert. These oatmeal bars are a real gem – they don’t contain any butter or eggs, and bake for less than 20 minutes – peanut butter and milk provide the glue to hold these together, and lend a more earthy and hearty flavor to the end product.  They’re great served warm with milk, like their cookie cousins, but will leave you feeling a little more full thanks to the oatmeal and peanut butter.  And just like a cookie (or a Lay’s potato chip), I bet you can’t eat just one. 

Oatmeal bars v1

Oatmeal bars v2

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
Yields 24
A hearty and sweet dessert bar filled with oats, peanut butter and chocolate
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup light brown sugar
  2. 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  3. 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  4. 2 cups flour
  5. 2 cups quick-rise oatmeal (not instant)
  6. 2 tsp baking soda
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1 cup milk
  9. 12oz mini chocolate chips (1 regular bag)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease two 9x11 metal baking pans.
  3. In a large mixing bowl cream together the brown sugar, peanut butter and vanilla until light in color and well blended. Scrape down the sides.
  4. Add the dry ingredients - flour, oats, baking soda and salt - and mix to combine. The dough will be dry and crumbly.
  5. Add the milk to the dough and stir just to combine.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and fold in to incorporate.
  7. Place half the dough in each greased baking pan. Wet hands with water and flatten dough into the pan.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.
  9. Let cool, then cut 12 squares from each pan.
Notes
  1. This recipe is delicious using a gluten free flour like Bob's Red Mill or Betty Crocker's Rice Flour blend.
  2. This recipe can be halved to make 12 squares, or one 9x11 pan of bars.
  3. These bars can be frozen and defrosted to serve at a later date. Will freeze well for at least 4 weeks.
Adapted from How Sweet Eats
Adapted from How Sweet Eats
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/

Pumpkin Muffins

If you’re anything like me, you have a hard time making it between meals without a little snack to tide you over.  Not a full mini-meal or anything, just some fruit or nuts or a baked good.  Okay let’s be honest, more often than not, a baked good.  I’ve had the usual suspects in rotation for quite some time – banana bread, oatmeal bars, blueberry muffins – until my sister introduced me to pumpkin muffins this winter, and my snacking world was turned upside down!  What is this delicious treat??  It tastes almost like cake given how soft and moist it is, and is sweet enough to not need frosting, but with the pumpkin puree and spices it tastes healthy enough to not feel (too) guilty for enjoying it between meals.  

Here my friends, is the pumpkin muffin.  Easy to make, hard to eat just one.  This recipe makes a double batch, nearly 30 muffins, so we’re in luck that these muffins freeze and defrost beautifully, if that’s your thing.  For those of you on the gluten free wagon, substitute a good gluten free flour (like Domata or Bob’s Red Mill) one-for-one with its wheat-filled sibling, and that’s it!  You’d never notice the difference.

A big thanks to my sister for sharing this recipe she received from a friend!  That’s one of the beauties of good food – you can share not only the end product but also the recipe, many times over, extending the joy to countless others. So go ahead and make a batch for breakfast, to give to a friend or for a delicious snack!


Pumpkin muffins

 

Pumpkin Muffins
Yields 30
These pumpkin muffins are moist and sweet, and perfect for breakfast or a snack!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 12 T butter, melted and cooled
  2. 2/3 cup water
  3. 3 cups sugar
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
  6. 3 1/3 cups flour
  7. 2 tsp baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  11. 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  12. 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour or line muffin tins with paper baking cups.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, water, sugar, eggs and pumpkin puree, and stir until fully combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together, then combine into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix! It's okay if there are a few lumps.
  5. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.
  6. Remove from the oven, and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the muffins to a rack to cool completely.
Notes
  1. Make sure to use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
  2. You can halve this recipe for a smaller batch, or about 12-15 muffins.
Adapted from Courtney Remes
Adapted from Courtney Remes
In Bryna's Kitchen http://www.inbrynaskitchen.com/