Baking these was a lesson in many respects.
Lesson #1. I always have to taste the cookie dough or cake batter first – for “quality control” of course. However, I do not advise eating the cookie dough at the bottom of the bowl and then promptly going for a jog. It’s a recipe for feeling sick.
Lesson #2. Trust your baking instincts. I’ve made this recipe before when I made the “I want to marry you cookies“. Those cookies were superb but when I made these the other day I thought the dough looked a bit sticky, even though I had followed the recipe. I decided to bake them anyways I opened the oven door with dismay to see my cookies spread out like cowpats, squidging into one another. I really dislike it when cookies do this and I felt cheated because I chilled the dough!
Lesson #3. A little improvisation isn’t a bad thing when it comes to baking. After the first tray of cookies came out disappointingly spread out and flat, I decided that I wasn’t going to bake the rest of them that way. Instead, I quickly lined a brownie tray with greaseproof paper and patted out the dough. I increased the oven temperature about 10C and increased the cooking time. The result was the most amazingly chewy nommy cookie bars I’ve ever made!
Lesson #4. Don’t tell people you will show up at a party with baking and then… not bring the baking. Sorry guys! Due to the change of plans, the tray of cookie bars was way too hot to be moved! Still I felt rather sheepish showing up empty handed. :(
Okay, lessons learned. So how did my modified cookies turn out? Freaking delicious. The bars themselves are unbelievably chewy with a strong full flavour of the dark brown sugar (don’t use light brown!). I replaced the chocolate chunks in the recipe with chocolate covered raisins and chocolate covered peanuts. I liked how the chocolate covered raisins added an extra fruity sweetness and the peanuts provided a nice crunch. Overall, although these didn’t go exactly as planned, I may have stumbled across my new favourite oatmeal cookie bar recipe. :D
Fruit and Nut Cookie Bars
- 1 cup/225g unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cup/250g packed dark brown sugar (don’t use light brown!)
- 1/2 cup/112.5g granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp/5 ml vanilla extract
- 2 cups/250g flour
- 1/2 tsp/2.5ml baking soda/bicarb of soda
- 1/2 tsp/2.5 ml salt
- 1/4 tsp/1.25 ml cinnamon
- 1 cup/90 g rolled oats
- 200g chocolate covered raisins
- 200g chocolate covered peanuts
- Melt the butter. The original recipe says to do this in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. I used the microwave! Stir the dark brown and white sugars into the melted butter and mix until well incorporated. Chill for 10 minutes.
- Whilst the butter/sugar mixture is in the fridge, sift the flour, baking soda (bicarb of soda), salt and cinnamon together.
- Give the butter/sugar mixture a good stir if any butter has set on top during chilling. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract, mixing well.
- Add the flour mixture, stirring until just incorporated. Add the oats and stir until they are mixed throughout. Stir in the chocolate covered raisins and peanuts.
- Cover the bowl with some cling film/saran wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Line a brownie tin (7″x11″) with baking parchment and spread out the cookie dough evenly. It may be easiest to do this with the palms of your (clean) hands.
- Bake in the oven 25-30 minutes or until the bars are golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, cut up into squares and store in an airtight container.