Oatmeal Cookie Bars

oatmeal chunk barsThese oatmeal bars are quick and delicious. They’re still cookies, so they’re not exactly health food, but they include oats and nuts and can be made with whole wheat flour. You can customize these with whatever you want to mix in. I have two common variations: chocolate/walnut, and white chocolate/cranberry/walnut.

Ingredients
1 cup flour (all-purpose or a mixture of AP and whole wheat)
3/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup oats (quick-cooking work best for me, but rolled oats are fine too)
85g (6 tbsp) butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
170g (6 oz) chocolate chips or chunks, chopped nuts, and/or dried fruit

Instructions

Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add all dry ingredients and mix to combine. Finally, stir in your chocolate, nuts, and/or fruit.

The batter will be rather thick. Spread it in an 8-inch (21-cm) square pan, and bake at 190C (375 F) for 18-20 minutes.

(This recipe can be doubled and made in a 13×9 inch pan.)

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Walnut Jam Thumbprints

thumbprintThese cookies are great in winter. You can use any kind of jam in them, but I think a tart flavor is better to contrast with the sweet cookie. Favorites are raspberry and cassis jam. I got this recipe from my mom, but you can find it all over on the Internet.

Ingredients
113g (1/2 cup) butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, separated
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup jam

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

Beat butter and sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour and salt and mix to combine.

Beat the reserved egg white. Roll cookie dough into 1-inch (2.5cm) balls. Dip the cookies into the egg white, and roll in the chopped walnuts.

With one finger or a small spoon, make an indentation in the top of each ball. Fill with about 1/4 tsp of jam.

Bake cookies for about 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.