These oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars are made with nutritious ingredients, including oats, wheat germ, and allergy-friendly pumpkin seed butter!
Baking is such a solace for me, especially when I'm feeling down. I'm not sure if it's the act of baking or the act of eating, but the process is very soothing and satisfying, particularly if I create a good recipe.
I've needed that comfort lately, as Sam has really been a terror.
He is my first boy, and he's right between the ages of three and four, so his attitude and overall 'rude dude' demeanor is really getting to me.
In addition to telling me 'no', throwing fits at every store I frequent, and basically living his life from one tantrum to the next, he will, at times, act like he wants nothing to do with me!
Say what, kid? I feed you, I clothe you, I give you love and laugh at your jokes...what gives??
I think my husband and I are pretty good at the whole discipline thing, but I guess our guy was just born with more testosterone than he knows what to do with.
One thing that really lures him in, though, are these low sugar cookie bars. Ha! I know that sounds funny, given the 'low sugar' and fussy tot combination, but really!
He eats these one right after the other, and I feel pretty good letting him, given that the whole batch has under two tablespoons of sweetener.
I also find that oats have a calming effect on him, and anything that helps in that regard, I need!
Why pumpkin seed butter?
Surprisingly, these don't contain any oil, but rather, pumpkin seed butter!
I find this addition gives them a nice, chewy consistency, and it even adds a little protein. I use pumpkin seed butter because of our allergies, but I assume any nut or seed butter would work.
I like to add a combination of coconut sugar and molasses to these, as I just love molasses. The dry mix is a combination of oat and spelt flours, oats, and a rather old-fashioned ingredient: toasted wheat germ!
Wheat germ has gone a bit out of style with the gluten-free craze, but if you can have wheat, I encourage you to eat it. It's packed full of vitamin E, and it's absolutely delicious!
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 2 Tablespoons pumpkin seed butter (can also use nut or seed butter of choice)
- 2 Tablespoons applesauce
- 1 Tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 20 drops liquid stevia
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons spelt flour
- ¼ cup oat flour
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 2 Tablespoons toasted wheat germ
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 5 Tablespoons water
- ⅓ cup chopped dark or unsweetened chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, WHISK together the pumpkin seed butter, applesauce, sugar, molasses, vanilla, and stevia until smooth.
- In a smaller bowl, stir together the flours, oats, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients, along with the water, to the pumpkin seed butter mixture and STIR until well combined.
- Oil an 8 x 8 baking dish.
- Smooth the batter into the baking dish (it will be a thin layer).
- Top with the chopped chocolate.
- Bake the bars for 10-14 minutes until golden and set.
As I said above, if you don't have/like pumpkin seed butter, you can use your favorite nut or seed butter.
I like to add in 1/2-1 teaspoon of cinnamon as well!
I like to use chopped unsweetened chocolate atop this, as I like the bitterness, AND it keeps the sugar grams down.
If I use store-bought pumpkin seed butter, this is the one I use:
Adding the sugar and wet ingredients to a bowl...
Mixing the flours and dry ingredients (I added cinnamon to this batch, which is what's on top)...
Spread into a baking dish...