With the daytime temperatures nearing 50 degrees and the snow rapidly melting, I’m starting to get excited for the first day that I head out for my favorite Spring & Summer activity – hiking! We have a lot of beautiful hiking country here, and nothing reduces my stress level more than being out in a remote area, where all you can hear is the wind blowing through the trees and the water flowing in the streams.
To help get me in shape for my first hiking excursion, I decided to make a somewhat healthier treat today – Chocolate Chip Apple Oatmeal Cookie Bars. I love this recipe because, not only is it easy to put together and makes a very moist and delicious cookie bar, but you use applesauce in place of butter, and that just sounds healthier to me.
The apple and chocolate flavors pair very well together, and the oatmeal adds nutritional benefits like fiber and protein.
You can be sure I’ll be packing some of these treats with me when I head out into the back-country on my first hiking trip of the season.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup apples & cinnamon instant oatmeal
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the oil, applesauce, and brown sugar together until well blended. Add egg, milk and vanilla extract; whisk until combined. Add the flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Fold in the oatmeal and chocolate chips.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares.
Makes 16 cookie bars.
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