The first thing I saw when I turned on the TV today was a commercial for some sort of breakfast-oat-cookie-thing. I wanted one. So, I made some. Except mine are more like soft oat and nut bars instead of cookies.
I have made baked oatmeals, granola, and granola bar-like things before, but this time I wanted to create something soft and almost cake-like. The texture of these bars is somewhere between a soft oatmeal cookie and a piece of cake. They have all the goodness of oats and whole wheat flour, plus tons of nutty goodness, all of which makes them surprisingly filling.
Unlike cake or cookies, I didn’t make these soft oat and nut bars very sweet. They have just a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar and sweetened shredded coconut, but they’re definitely not dessert-like. You could easily add more sugar to make them into a sort-of-healthy type dessert or even add some dried fruit for extra sweetness. I happened to use plain soy milk to make these bars because that’s all I had in my fridge at the moment. You could definitely use dairy milk, although I think it’s slightly less sweet than soy milk, so you may want to add an extra tablespoon of sugar if you do so.
So, if you need breakfast on the go, try making these deliciously Soft Oat & Nut Bars to take with you on the road!
Soft Oat and Nut Bars
- 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats $0.30
- 1 cup whole wheat flour $0.38
- 1 tsp baking powder $0.09
- ¼ tsp salt $0.02
- 1 tsp cinnamon $0.05
- ⅓ cup brown sugar $0.11
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) room temperature butter $0.58
- 1 large egg $0.17
- 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.28
- 1 cup plain or vanilla soy milk $0.41
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts $0.88
- ⅓ cup sweetened shredded coconut $0.26
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until well combined.
- In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar and butter until the mixture is light and creamy (about 2 minutes, medium speed). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until light and creamy again (30 seconds to one minute).
- Add half of the oat and flour mixture and beat briefly, just until combined. Start on low speed to prevent the flour from flying out of the bowl.
- Add the soy milk and beat briefly again until smooth. Always start on low speed to prevent splashing. Add the rest of the flour and oat mixture, and beat until combined (only about 30 seconds).
- Add the chopped walnuts and coconut. Stir them into the batter. Pour the batter into a 9x9 inch greased casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the bars to cool and then cut into 9 pieces. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 5-6 days, or freeze for extended storage.
Step by Step Photos
First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until well combined.
In a larger bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and creamy. Then, add the egg and vanilla (pictured) and beat again until creamy.
See how light, creamy, and whipped it looks after the egg and vanilla have been mixed in? The tiny bits of trapped air will help the end product be light and cake-like.
Add half of the flour and oat mixture. Beat them briefly, only about 30 seconds, until they are mixed together. Always start on low speed so that you don’t get a sudden cloud of flour spraying up in your face.
Add the milk and beat briefly again… (you REALLY want to start on low speeds with liquids)
Finally, stir in the chopped walnuts and coconut.
Pour the batter into a 9×9 inch greased casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
Allow the bars to cool and then cut them into 9 equal sized pieces.
And then enjoy the heck out of them!