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Jam and Oats

November 4, 2010

Hey guys! I know I don’t usually post this early, but this recipe was so tasty, I couldn’t wait to share!

Last night, we headed up to State College to see the band Yonder Mountain with our friends Lee and Steve.  Before the show, we visited one of our favorite restaurants, Cozy Thai, for some delicious Thai food.  My belly was full of spicy basil tofu by the time we made it to the concert. 

The band was…fun.  We were expecting more of a bluegrass band, and it was definitely closer to a jam band…lots of patchouli-scented clothing, balloons being tossed around, noodling bodies, and glazed over eyes.  You get the idea.  When I was in high school, I had much love for Widespread Panic, and attended more than a few shows…this kind of brought me back to those good old days! Except it’s not as much fun when you’re almost thirty, and you know you have to teach in the morning, and the only grass in your life is the kind that you yell at your husband about not mowing because damn it, it’s not winter yet and all of the neighbors are going to think we’re white trash!

Yeah.

Before we left, I played around in the kitchen, baking up a little something to give to Lee and Steve as a thank-you for driving us.  I must say, the recipe I came up with was nothing short of spectacular.

When we were in Nantucket this summer, we couldn’t get enough of these cookies:

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Mmmmm…my mouth salivates just thinking about them. They were the perfect combination of salty and sweet, and I’ve been wanting to recreate the flavors in a cookie or bar of my own ever since.

Enter:

Salty Chocolate Chip Oat Squares (and they’re vegan!)

Ingredients:

1 cup oats

1 cup oats, ground into oat flour in a blender or food processor

1/4 cup oil (I used safflower, but you could use vegetable or canola)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (if you don’t care about making them vegan, you can just use regular semi-sweet chips here)

4 tbsp.vegan butter spread (I used Earth Balance.  You could also just use regular butter or a butter spread like Smart Balance if you don’t care about making them vegan), melted

3/4 tbsp. coarse salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients well in a bowl.  Be sure to evenly distribute the salt, mixing well to incorporate.

Once the ingredients are mixed, line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Press the “dough” into the pan, folding the paper over the top to ensure that the dough is evenly distributed, about one inch thick, and firmly packed in. 

Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove and allow to chill in the pan for about 15 minutes.  Then, remove the oat square by lifting the parchment paper out, and transfer the square to a cutting board.  Allow to cool for another 10-15 minutes.

At this point, you should be able to cut the oat into squares.  Mine made 20 total. 

Here are some pictures of the process and finished product:

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The batter looks a little dry and separated, but once you press it down into the pan, it really comes together.

Out of the pan and oven:

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Cutting into bars:

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The verdict?

These were sooooo good.  The coarse salt really makes a difference—each bite was deliciously salty AND sweet.  We couldn’t stop eating them!

*          *         *

Okay…off to prep for my courses! Hope you’re having a great morning!

Oh! And a turkey trot update:

I’m on my way…but it’s raining and nasty out today, so we’ll see just how much action I get in!

24 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2010 1:41 pm

    Those bars look so yummy! Salty and sweet, can’t ask for more!

  2. November 4, 2010 1:58 pm

    Ohhh those oat bars look awesome!

    LOL I would have felt the same way at the concert. The “jammiest” jam band I can handle is OAR, and I still feel like an old lady at their concerts!

  3. November 4, 2010 2:12 pm

    Those look perfect! Definitely bookmarked since I was looking for snack ideas for the boys. Thanks for the recipe! Have a great day Anna.

  4. November 4, 2010 2:21 pm

    I want those NOW.

    First I need to find some coarse salt…

  5. November 4, 2010 2:22 pm

    aw- I miss seeing shows in State College 🙂 Glad you had fun. The baked goods look spectacular. I love vegan baked goods. I just picked up some cinnamon chips at the food store and I can’t wait to get baking

  6. November 4, 2010 3:05 pm

    these sound perfect, and I love the SHORT recipe list !! and not only vegan, but easy to make gluten free! wee!

    thanks for sharing – sweet and salty is my favorite…

  7. November 4, 2010 6:03 pm

    These look so delicious and I love that they seem pretty quick & easy to make. Definitely plan to make a batch tonight, if not this weekend!

  8. November 4, 2010 7:44 pm

    Look delicious! And your turkey trot update is so cute

  9. November 4, 2010 9:36 pm

    These look really good – I wonder if you added cocoa powder if they would turn dark like the ones in your picture?

  10. November 4, 2010 10:24 pm

    Bars look great! I love the sweat and salty idea. YUM Love it!!!

  11. November 4, 2010 10:55 pm

    Oh my word these sound SO good. I’m not a salt person by itself, but add some sweetness and I’m game!!

  12. actorsdiet permalink
    November 4, 2010 11:41 pm

    salty and sweet is my favorite combo of flavors. and chocolate. chocolate is its own flavor.

  13. November 5, 2010 12:08 am

    I want one (or 5) of those bars!! I think you should do a giveaway with them! 🙂

  14. November 5, 2010 12:29 am

    This post seriously cracked me up! I remember going to concerts like that and feeling so out of place 😉

    The bars looks amazing!! I love anything with a salty/sweet combo!

  15. November 5, 2010 1:35 am

    I feel like that too. I’ve been to quite a few Phish shows back in the day. Don’t know if I could handle it now. I went to a jam band show with my 22 year old brother a few months ago and I felt like I was the oldest person there. And probably the most sober too.

  16. November 5, 2010 1:35 am

    I am definitely keeping this recipe in mind–yum!

  17. November 5, 2010 1:42 am

    That recipe looks to DIE for!

  18. November 5, 2010 2:09 am

    Mmmmmm. Love the salty + sweet combo.

    And I had to laugh at your description of it not being as fun as when younger. It’s crazy how things change with time, huh?

  19. November 5, 2010 4:15 am

    Those look great, definitely want to try!

  20. November 5, 2010 10:17 am

    Oh yum! I love sweet & salty!!!

    Jen

  21. November 5, 2010 12:37 pm

    You crack me up – I feel too old for concerts period. Those treats look so tasty. Um holiday gift idea??!!

  22. November 5, 2010 12:39 pm

    Holy yum! I’m making these suckers, totally!

  23. Ginger permalink
    November 5, 2010 1:19 pm

    I think you might fit right in at a House Concert! : ) Those cookies brought back memories of Nantucket – they look fantastic! I can’t wait to try them.

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