There are those who want the full bacon-and-eggs treatment for breakfast. Others are happy to nibble their way through a breakfast bar, washing it down with a big mug of coffee.
If you're part of the breakfast bar bunch, this recipe will make you happy.
However, these bars are a bit of a slog to make. First, you need to get out your stand mixer, and you have to let the batter sit for at least six hours. I make the batter the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight, then bake the bars in the morning.
While this recipe calls for dried cranberries, feel free to sub in another plump dried fruit, like cherries. And, of course, you can use your favorite nuts instead of walnuts.
These bars are on the sweet side, but, hey, nobody says you can't have a cookie-like breakfast.
Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Makes 9 bars.
¾ cup smooth almond butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⅔ cups whole oats
¾ teaspoon baking soda
⅓ cup coconut flakes
1½ tablespoons flaxseeds
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup walnuts, chopped
1. With a mixer, cream almond butter, sugars and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
2. Add eggs, salt and vanilla and mix until well incorporated, scrape the side and bottom of bowl, beat about 1 minute longer.
3. Stop mixer. Add oats then sift baking soda over them. Beat into almond butter mixture.
4. With mixer on low speed, stir in coconut flakes, flaxseeds, cranberries and walnuts until thoroughly mixed. Batter will be very thick.
5. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the dough (still in the bowl) and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 2 days to allow oats to hydrate.
6. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper; leave about a 2-inch overhang to use as handles. Spray paper with nonstick cooking spray.
7. Scrape dough into the prepared baking pan. Lightly grease a spatula or your hands and firmly press the mixture into the pan in an even layer. Bake until the surface is light golden brown and firm, 25 to 30 minutes.
8. Transfer to a rack and allow bars to cool. Use parchment paper overhang to lift bars out of the pan and place them on a cutting board. Cut into 9 bars. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.