Fruit and Nut Cookie Bars


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. :(

Good, better, best.

Good, better, best.

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


  1. 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.
  2. Whilst the butter/sugar mixture is in the fridge, sift the flour, baking soda (bicarb of soda), salt and cinnamon together.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cover the bowl with some cling film/saran wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Once cool, cut up into squares and store in an airtight container.


Happy Baking!