loaded oatmeal cookie bars

Soft and warm…so thick and moist, you can’t wait to sink your teeth into these as soon as they come out of the oven. My friends, we’re talking cookies today. And these aren’t your average joe, slice and bake cookies you find in the market – these are super loaded, an explosion of awesome dessert for your taste buds.

Photo 2014-01-26 08.50.36 PM   I’ve always had a soft spot for chocolate chip cookies. When I was a child, my mom would often make my sisters and I the classic Nestle Tollhouse cookies. Because there were three of us, it was a constant battle as to who would get the coveted beaters, and who got stuck with the meager amount of dough left in the bowl (she’s a professional scraper, my mom, never wasting a drop). Elbows were thrown, no holds back – if you wanted it, you had to fight for it!

These cookies are no different. But with just the hubs and I in our household (for now, at least), there’s no scrambling over who gets to lick what. In fact, we both enjoy the fruits of my labor with these cookies, enjoying the beaters, the bowl, and whatever else flew out of the bowl. We leave the kitchen smiling, and I’ll tell you what – the best part about this recipe, my dears, is that it is a one bowl wonder. Amen.

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Because I am never satisfied simply following a recipe, I had approach this recipe with fresh eyes. I am a HUGE oatmeal lover, so I decided that I would draw my inspiration from the traditional Quaker Oats Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies. You can’t go wrong with an oatmeal cookie, amiright?? With the perfect balance of tender oats, sugars, sweet vanilla, and just a hint of salt, I knew I was on to something good.

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From here is where I started to get a little creative. Surprise, surprise! As I mentioned earlier, these were going to be a spin on my mom’s classic, so naturally a hefty dose of chocolate was in order. I am all about semi-sweet chocolate in my cookies. I find that milk chocolate is a tad to sweet for me, and I like the way semi-sweet balances out the sugar in most recipes. My vanilla sugar* replaced the standard granulated sugar, adding another layer of flavor. Greek yogurt** was subbed in for a substantial amount of the butter, which resulted in a fluffier cookie. And lastly, for even more texture, crushed bits of salted pretzel twists were folded in and lightly pressed into the top of the batter before going into the oven.

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In addition to coming together quickly and easily, these cookies also freeze beautifully. I like to cut them after they’ve cooled, wrap half of them individually in foil, and place them in the freezer. But…I’m just saying…if they don’t make it that long, I completely understand.

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Enjoy!

~~~

Loaded Oatmeal Cookie Bars {adapted from Quaker Oats}

Ingredients:

3 tbsp. butter, softened

1 C. plain, non-fat Greek yogurt

3/4 C. firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 C. vanilla sugar (regular, granulated sugar works just as well here too, the infused sugar just adds another depth of flavor)

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1-1/2 C. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3 C. Quaker Oats

1 C. (heaping) of chocolate chips

several handfuls of plain, salted pretzels

To Make:

Heat oven to 350°F.

In large bowl, beat butter, Greek yogurt, and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add oats and chocolate chips; mix well.  Crumble up about 1-1/2 C. of the pretzels, and fold in.

Press dough onto bottom of a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

*to make vanilla sugar, I simply cut a vanilla bean in half from end to end and put it in a mason jar. Fill it up with sugar and store in a cool, dry place. Give it a turn every so often to fully incorporate the flavor.

**if you’re not a huge fan of Greek yogurt in baked goods, simply use the original amount of unsalted butter that the recipe calls for. In this particular recipe, you would use 1 stick + 6 tablespoons. 

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6 thoughts on “loaded oatmeal cookie bars

  1. Pingback: superbowl snacks! | kitchen konfidential

  2. Pingback: valentine’s day ideas & inspirations | kitchen konfidential

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