Oatmeal Cookie Bars

I was invited to lead a virtual baking class for a team social event recently. That got me thinking about what sweet treat would require a minimum of equipment and ingredients, could be assembled in an hour, and could be customized to everyone’s taste.

A year into the pandemic, my first thought was to see what star bakers were doing online. I knew that Christina Tosi started a baking club on Instagram Live, but I never joined in because it took place on a weekday afternoon. Fortunately, there’s an archive of her recordings and recipes.

In the end, I settled on these oat cookie bars (recipe and video). They could be made with or without an electric mixer, had wheat substitutes, and allowed for various mixins.

Oatmeal Cookie Bars

In my trial batch, I creamed the butter by hand, since I didn’t know if my colleagues had small kitchen appliances. I used old-fashioned rolled oats, and wheat flour. Tosi’s recipe and video instructions give advice for using quick oats, and non-wheat substitutes. My mixins were several tablespoons of natural peanut butter and raspberry jam. I used an 8” metal pan, so the bars came out a bit thick. Still warm from the oven, our household quickly devoured half the tray.

Oatmeal Cookie Bars

For the online session, I switched to a quarter sheet pan, and different mixins (almond butter, apricot jam, hazelnuts). This one turned out slightly crispier, and not quite as satisfying as the PB&J one. I was pleased that everyone reported success and yummy results.

Oat Cookie Bars

Highly recommended, whether you’re teaching a class online, or baking with kids! This recipe is easy and satisfying.

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