Last fall marked the moment I first tried apple butter. A trip to a local apple orchard sparked my interest in this healthy, sweet spread. The orchard had a shop full of pre-picked apples, cider donuts, and homemade jams and butters. I saw the apple butter and knew it was for me! I first tried it straight from the jar with apple slices, then moved on to spreading a layer over English muffins and toast. Delicious! Recently, I stumbled upon a cookie recipe that incorporated apple butter, and I immediately recreated it. Let’s just say I managed to eat the entire pan myself, in less than a week. The sign of a great recipe? I think yes.
To cut down on dishes ( pathetic, I know), I opted to make these into cookie bars. Not only are these healthier than your standard oatmeal raisin cookie (the recipe calls for just a ¼ cup of margarine, along with egg whites, whole oats, and dried fruit of your choice), but they’re also extremely moist, without any butter or grease. They’re moist because of the star ingredient…apple butter!
Try these…I promise they don’t disappoint!
Apple Butter Oatmeal Cookie Bars
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) light butter
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce or apple butter
2 egg whites or 1 egg
2 tablespoons skim milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups Quaker® Oats (I used old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup diced dried mixed fruit or raisins ( I used ½ cup raisins, ½ cup cinnamon chips)
1) Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray pan with cooking spray.
2) In large bowl, beat sugars and light butter with electric mixer until well blended. Add apple butter, egg whites, milk and vanilla; beat well.
3) Add combined flour, baking soda, and cinnamon; mix well. Stir in oats and raisins ( and cinnamon chips if you‘re me!); mix well. (The dough will be moist!)
4) Spoon dough into pan, and press lightly to flatten.
Bake 18-22 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.
Note: I have a tendency to undercook cookie bars, because once they cool, I think they’re a better consistency. Moist and partially doughy, just how I like them! Careful…you may not be able to stop at one!