Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Maple Walnut Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (or Muffins!)

Perfect for breakfast on the run or at the table.

Although I wrote the recipe for bars, you can use this recipe for muffins (like the photo) as well.

Nuts are optional.

Maple Walnut Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (or Muffins!)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy with an electric hand mixer. Add brown sugar and beat until combined. It should be light and fluffy Add maple syrup and beat until completely combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add applesauce and vanilla and beat until well blended.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix gently by hand until it is blended. Do not overmix. Add nuts and mix just until well distributed.

Spread the batter into the pan and even out the top. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely before slicing into 24 squares.