I made a delicious batch of Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Bars recently with a reduced amount of sugar in the recipe worked well. I used some of the tips in the More Healthful Baking article to further tweak the recipe. It took two tries to get satisfying results.
Take 1: Too dry. Instead of using 1 stick of butter, I used 3 Tablespoons olive oil and 1/8 cup Greek yogurt. The reduced sugar and whole wheat flour worked, though.
Take 2: Winner! I used half the amount of butter and added applesauce. I kept the reduced sugar amount (half of the original recipe) and whole wheat flour. This version came out like cake, with just the right texture. Not too dry, not too oily. It was very nice for a mid-morning snack with a cup of hot tea. The cinnamon chips in today’s batch come from King Arthur Flour.
Makes 16 bars
2 Tablespoons (1 oz) melted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats (uncooked oatmeal)
3/4 cup mini cinnamon chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position. Lightly coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Melt the butter in a large, microwave safe bowl. Pour the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the brown and white sugars and let cool a bit. Beat in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat in the egg.
Beat in the flour, oats, and chips. The dough will be stiff. Use a rubber spatula to spread dough evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 minutes until bars are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (don’t overbake them). Cut into 16 bars when cool.
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