Another gloomy day, another oat-based dessert. What can I say? Cruddy weather makes me crave sweet, hearty snacks. Wednesdays Lillian goes to school in the morning while I work and I actually got enough accomplished that during her afternoon nap I was able to do some baking (along with laundry folding and bathroom cleaning).
I started with the basic oatmeal cookie recipe on the Quaker box but decided to make a bar cookie. As usual, I made some tweaks to the recipe to make them a touch more nutritious, but they’re still really sweet and satisfying. One of the first changes I made was to swap out some of the butter for Greek Yogurt (I used Fage 2% fat plain). I’ve never tried this before but I really like the results, at least for a bar cookie. They came out with chewy, not-quite-cake-like texture on the inside but still had some crispiness at the edges.
I also replaced some of the flour with unsweetened, flake coconut. The coconut offers a touch more fiber than standard white flour and also adds interesting texture and flavor. Finally, I threw in a combo of chopped walnuts, dried cranberries and yogurt covered raisins (because I had them in the pantry).
The combination of the dried fruit, nuts, coconut and oats makes for a wonderfully chewy snack. This recipe makes a nice, deep bars in a 13 x 9″ pan. Even after giving a half-dozen to a neighbor (JiT borrowed his ladder to clean the gutters last week), we still have plenty left for snacks this week.
Lilly loved them and I do too. Hopefully we’ll still have enough left later this week when the weather clears up. These seem like a great treat to take along to the park. After all, just because I baked them during cruddy weather doesn’t mean we need cruddy weather to eat them!
Greek Yogurt Coconut Oatmeal Cookie Bars
Makes about 2 dozen bars
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt (I used 2% fat)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened flake coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup dried cranberries plus 1/4 cup yogurt covered raisins (or 1/2 cup of one or the other)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter, yogurt and sugars in a mixing bowl until fluffy and smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, coconut, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and oats and whisk until evenly mixed. Add dry ingredients into butter mixture and beat until just combined. Fold in dried cranberries, raisins and chopped walnuts just until evenly distributed.
Spread mixture evenly into an ungreased 13 x 9″ non-stick baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden and firm. Remove from oven and allow pan to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into bars. Move bars to wire rack to cool completely. Bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.