oatmealpowerbarsTake 2 on the quest for a power bar recipe! As you have read in my previous post…the Strawberry Banana Meal Replacement Bar sucked!!! So I thought I would try a recipe that wouldn’t use protein powder (icckkkk) and would hopefully taste like my favorite cookie…oatmeal cranberry! So here goes…wish me luck!

Oatmeal Power Bar
makes 24 bars

1/2 C almonds, toasted
1/2 C pecans, toasted
1 C dried cranberries
1/2 C whole wheat flour I used unbleached regular flour
1/4 C ground flax seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 C rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick cooking both work) I used a little more, but shouldn’t have
1 C sweetened shredded coconut I omitted this completely since my son doesn’t think he likes coconut
1/2 C (or 1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 C canola or vegetable oil
1/2 C dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 jelly roll pan with parchment paper. I didn’t have parchment paper so I used foil.

If your almonds and pecans are not toasted, spread them on a baking sheet and toast for 10 – 15 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the skin has darkened slightly and the nuts smell fragrant. Set aside to cool. After they are cool, chop roughly by hand or pulse them in a food processor. I loved chopping the nuts! It made me feel so powerful!

Pour 1 cup of hot water over the dried cranberries and let them rehydrate for 5 minutes and drain. I used some dried blueberries too!

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the flour, ground flax, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda together. In another bowl, whisk the rolled oats, coconut, and chopped nuts.

With a stand mixer and paddle attachment or hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy and fluffy. Mine never got very creamy and fluffy. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla and beat again until creamy and fluffy. Yeah, still not very creamy and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until the mixture is smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat until evenly combined. Then add the oat mixture and dried cranberries and mix until the dough is evenly incorporated. So my dough was very liquidy, so I added another 1/2 cup or so of oatmeal…MISTAKE!!! It is suppose to be runny!

Scrape the dough into the lined jelly roll pan and press the dough onto the pan with your fingers. I had a huge problem with this. Even with the added oatmeal, the dough was very sticky and stuck to my hands rather than pressing into the pan. So I floured my hands…heavily and then sprinkled more onto the top and eventually it worked. Cover the dough with another piece of parchment, I used wax paper, and using a small rolling pin or empty wine bottle, darn it…I didn’t think of drinking a bottle so I could use it, roll over the parchment until the dough is evenly packed in the pan. Remove the top piece of parchment. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes or until the edges are browned, the entire top is golden, and the center of pan is baked. You can use a toothpick to poke the middle to make sure it’s not still gooey.

These bars are DELICIOUS!!! The only problem, which I believe is my fault, is that they’re a little dry and crumbly. That extra 1/2 cup or so of oatmeal and the flour probably caused this problem. Maybe I should use oil on my hands next time. I will make them again, because they are like an oatmeal cranberry cookie. And even dry and crumbly, they are perfect with my coffee in the morning!