Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bad Day White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

Yesterday was not my day.  Between being poked and prodded by multiple doctors as part of the mandatory physical exam I needed to pass to get a job and the blood tests required for college health records, and oh yah the speeding ticket I got trying to go between one appointment and another, it was a rough day. 

So I did what any teen girl would do.  I ate.  These bars specifically...

They made me feel better.  Until I realized a large amount of the pan was gone. 
Oh well, it was worth it. 

These bars come from a new cookbook I got as a birthday present from my friends called Perfectly Light Deserts.  It's the first recipe I've made from it, and it was amazing.  Really, two thumbs up. 
The whole tag line of the book is that every (normal sized) serving of each recipe is less than 300 calories, and honestly, that was enough to sell me on it. 

This recipe started out as Cranberry Oatmeal Bars, but I had to make some changes.  Like getting rid of the pecans, because really, why ruin a bar with those.  So I took out those and did what any rational person would do, I added chocolate (well white chocolate, but that totally still counts).  Truly one of the best choices I've made.

Cranberries and a touch of white chocolate... good

Cranberries and oatmeal with generous amounts of white chocolate...
Sitting down with individually cut bars and not caring about lighting because they
just look and taste so good... best.

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Bars
24 servings (2 inch squares)
(My variations made in blue)

3 cups rolled oats (regular oatmeal)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (about 4 ounces) pecan pieces, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed (I did about 1/2 cup and a Tbsp because of the added sweetness of the white chocolate chips)
1 large egg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce  (It has got to be unsweetened)
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
6 oz of white chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
9x13 inch pan lined with tin foil

 Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
In a double broiler, place 3 oz of white chocolate chips,stirring occasionally until melted.  As they begin to melt, add 1 Tbsp of milk at a time until the mixture becomes liquid enough to drizzle without clumps (I used about 1/4 cup)  Take off eat, and set to the side. 
 Stir the oats, flour cranberries, remaining chocolate chips and baking soda together in a bowl.
 In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar with a large rubber spatula. Beat in the egg, then the applesauce, cinnamon, and ginger.
 Stir in the dry ingredients and scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top  (I forgot to smooth, oops).
 Bake the bars for about 25 minutes, or until they are firm when pressed with a fingertip.
 Cool in the pan on a rack.
Once cooled, take the melted white chocolate mixture (you might need to reheat it), and drizzle over the bars (I use a wooden spoon moving it quickly from side to side).  Let it cool and harden. 
Remove from pan by lifting the foil out. 
Cut into 2-inch bars. 

Each bar is under 200 calories (so it's totally okay if you eat the entire pan)

Credit to Perfectly Light Desserts by Nick Malgieri and David Joachim.
Go buy the book, it is amazing. 

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