I didnt post yesterday because… well, because I was remembering my father. 14 years ago, yesterday, he passed away. And every day, I miss him. I just had nothing I wanted to cook, so I didnt. Instead, I smoked a cigar in his honour, and remembered him over dinner with a person who loved him too.
So today, I wanted to make something that was comforting, easy, and yet very flexible – kind of like my dad! I decided on oatmeal bars because they fascinate me – and AngelKitten suggested that I add marshmallows – kind of like in a rice crispie bar. Intriguing idea. You dont have to add marshmallows if you dont want to – though they certainly give the bars a chewy, burnt, caramelly angle. Basically, you need to add equal amounts of oats and “ingredients” – in this recipe I added marshmallows, pistachios and peanut butter chips. I know. Sounds like a weird mixture, but funnily enough, it works!
And, with the addition of almond meal, this is a gluten free recipe, though if you are very stringent, make sure you get oats that are labeled as gluten free. While oats themselves are gluten free, they are manufactured in factories, and often stored in facilities with other flours – cross contamination can occur, so be aware.
If you want healthy bars, please feel free to substitute dried fruit (cranberries and blueberries suggest themselves), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame) and all kinds of nuts. But do add the chocolate – it elevates these bars from crunchy granola to oh my goodness gracious, yes please, I will have another one! 😉
Makes a large baking pan full – about 20 bars
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups almond meal
- 4 cups “taste ingredients” – I used 2 cups marshmallows, 1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips and 1/2 cup pistachios. Feel free to go wild – add whatever your heart desires, but if youre daring, do try this combo. Its delicious!
- 2 tsp cinnamon or all spice
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, grated
- 3 eggs
- 1 heaping tbsp mascarpone (or cream cheese)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks
- 2 – 3 tbsp milk or cream
Preheat your oven to 175C (350F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the oats, almond meal, taste ingredients, cinnamon, salt, and light brown sugar. Use your hands and toss well to combine completely.
Grate over the butter and toss again to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, mascarpone, honey and vanilla. You should have about a cup of liquid. If more, thats fine. If less, make it up with a touch of milk.
Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and use your hands to combine. You wont think that the mixture will come together at first, but trust me, it will. It will be quite wet.
Turn out into the prepared baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until slightly puffed and toasty brown. (If you have used marshmallows, keep a close eye out – they can burn easily).
Let cool for about 20 minutes. While the oat bars are cooling, melt the white chocolate with the milk in a small saucepan over very low heat until liquid.
When the oat bars are cooled, drizzle over the white chocolate. Allow it to firm up, and then cut into bars.
These will keep up to a week in the fridge.
Enjoy these delicious, slightly healthy, rather decadent treats!