Now that the golf season has officially started, my days are a bit more jam-packed than they used to be. I fly from my last class to my dorm, change and am up to the Clocktower in just 15 minutes (usually that would take least 25 minutes). And of course, it’s 4 o’clock, which means I’m starting to get hungry…
I made these bars this weekend as a grab-and-go snack for when I’m running out the door to practice. I knew I wanted something that wasn’t crunchy and would make a mess in the car when I bit into it, that would reenergize me for golf and that would be a tasty snack to look forward to!
These bars are great because you can use whatever you have on hand – hence the name, “anything and everything.” I used what I had on hand – dried figs, raisins, walnuts, coconut and sunflower seeds – and they turned out great! I also cut down on the butter from the original recipe and substituted it with applesauce to make these healthier – and you couldn’t tell a difference!
Anything and Everything, Chewy Oatmeal Bars
Makes 1 8×8 pan – 9 large bars
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 2/3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup oat flour (if you don’t have oat flour, measure out 1/3 cup of oats and process in a food processor until very fine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 to 3 cups of dried fruits or nuts (my combination was 1/2 cup diced dried figs, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup of roughly chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup ofshredded coconut, and 1/3 cup raw, unroasted sunflower seeds – other options would be dried cranberries, pecans, almonds, dates, apricots, pepitas, chocolate chips…)
1/3 cup peanut butter or almond butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons lightcorn syrup
1 tablespoon water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, making sure it comes up the sides so you can easily remove the bars from the pan. Lightly spray the parchment paper with non-stick spray as an extra precaution.
2. In a large bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients – oats, sugar, oat flour, salt, cinnamon and all the dried fruit and nuts.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients (all the remaining ingredients). Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix it all together – I found using my hands was easiest.
4. Spread mixture into prepared pan and pat it all down nice and firm. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the edges have begun to brown. When you pull them out, they may seem a little soft but they will harden as they cool, plus you want them soft and chewy. Allow to cool completely and then slice bars. I found that storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator helped to solidify them if they seem a little crumbly. Enjoy!