I love baking cookies, but recently I've starting trying to come up with slightly healthier options. Healthier in this case means saving a whole half cup of butter and adding fruit instead of chocolate. Hey, baby steps, right? :)
The inspiration for this recipe comes from one of my husband's family's that they've had for years and years. It's a phenomenal cookie recipe, but it uses shortening instead of butter and, like I mentioned, I'm trying to make baby steps towards healthier baking (you know what would be healthier? Not make the cookies in the first place. But that's just not an option!) so I concocted a chocolate chip cookie recipe on my own, which then morphed into these cookie bars. They have a very chewy texture from the oats, but also have an almost cakey-brownie-like density. And because they're oats and fruit, I can justify eating them for breakfast, right?
Cherry Pecan Oatmeal Cookie Bars
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dried cherries
Preheat oven to 350º.
Combine the flour, oats, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, then mix in vanilla.
Slowly add the flour/oat mixture into the mixing bowl and beat on low speed until just combined. Add in the pecans and dried cherries and beat until just blended.
Lightly coat a 13x9 glass pan with oil, then pour in the batter and spread evenly in the pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges.
Source: A Laura's Recipe Collection original