Something Like a Cookie
Hard to believe that it’s March already, but here we are!
After the holiday season we found our appetite for sweets dwindled but we were still looking for “something like a cookie”…just not a cookie. In my efforts to reduce processed store-bought snacks I searched for recipes that might fit the bill and amalgamated a few to come up with a winner.
We’ve named these “Birdseed Bars”, for the seeds, grains and dried fruit we add. They’re high in protein and easily modified to use whatever you have in your pantry. For an added bonus, they’re school-safe because there are no nuts (although they would be tasty with some added!). Birdseed Bars have made their way into our lunchboxes for several weeks now, and are a slightly sweet and satisfying snack to accompany a cup of tea or coffee.
These actually hold together better after a couple of days—store them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for best results.
Don’t have freshly milled flour, buckwheat groats, or millet? Use what you have—substitute more seeds or oats (or even chopped nuts) for the latter, and use whichever flour you have on hand.
Birdseed Bars (makes 16-20 bars)
- Grease and line a 11” by 7” pan and line with parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
3/4 cup freshly milled quinoa flour (oat flour or buckwheat flour work as well)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar (or dark cane sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 chopped dried apricots
1 cup dried cranberries (if using sweetened you may wish to reduce the sugar a bit)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 cup whole millet or buckwheat groats
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup honey (can substitute maple syrup, just use a scant 1/3 cup)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add oats, sugar and cinnamon; stir to combine. Add dried fruit, seeds, millet/groats and whichever add-ins you’ve chosen (you can use any combination you like to measure 3 cups of add-ins)
- In a small pot over low heat, combine butter and honey. Stir constantly until butter is melted; stir in vanilla. Pour over the flour/fruit mixture all at once (not too gradually or it won’t come together easily). Add eggs and stir until everything is well combined.
- Pour into prepared pan and press firmly into the bottom with a clean hand or spatula. Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes (baking time will vary depending on which ingredients you’ve chosen—just keep an eye out after the 20 minute mark). Top should be golden brown and firm to touch.
- Leave in pan to cool for about 20 minutes, then cut into even squares or rectangles. It’s best to let these cool completely before serving (if you can resist)
*I flip the pan onto a cutting board once it’s cooled and then cut my bars on the board