Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

For the past two weekends I've been making desserts on the healthier side, so this weekend I decided I was allowed to make something a bit more indulgent, although in the grand scheme of desserts, these aren't so bad. Made with whole wheat flour, old-fashioned oats, and heart-healthy pecans and dark chocolate, these bars are full of indulgent flavors without being completely unhealthy. These bars would also be good with walnuts or other nuts, and dried fruit in place of some or all of the chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Oat Bars
adapted from Whole Foods

Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli 60% Cacao chips)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a (9-inch) baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

2. Put butter and sugar into a large bowl and mash together with a fork until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and stir well. In a separate medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and pecans until combined then transfer batter to prepared pan, smooth out evenly and bake until golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Set aside to let cool then cut into squares and serve.

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