These Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie Bars are totally calling your name. Made vegan and gluten-free, bursting with apples and basically the most perfect healthier fall treat.
As I write this, I am sitting in a hot coffee shop (no AC) drinking a hot cappuccino… It’s also currently 87ºF out. Not the best decision I’ve ever made.
Before I stepped foot in the coffee shop I seriously thought I was going to get an iced coffee. I thought “It’s hot out, I should get an iced coffee…” But then I saw one of the specialty espresso drinks on the menu: Honey Ginger Cappuccino. SOLD. (Anything with ginger gets me.) Any idea I had had previously of getting an iced beverage immediately went out the window. As I was handed my piping hot cappuccino glass and found a seat, I quickly realized the building had no air conditioning and I may have just made a very big mistake. I could feel the sweat coming on almost immediately. TMI?
ANYWAYS. Drew and I spent the weekend down in the southwest corner of Michigan at family member’s lake house. It is amazing (and odd) that it is all of the sudden in the 80’s and 90’s at the end of September, whereas in August I remember getting my jacket out for numerous occasions.
Is it crazy warm where you’re at? I feel like I am actually ready for fall now… Although being able to jump in the lake at the end of September? I really can’t complain.
But let’s chat about these Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie Bars, shall we?
So just like I was contemplating my decision to drink a hot cappuccino during a hot day, I was contemplating my decision to add apples into cookie bars… I wasn’t sure if it would be weird or if it would be the greatest thing ever. Okay, maybe not the greatest thing EVER… but, really really great.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the paleo apple skillet cookie and needed another way to enjoy those flavors. I remembered I had these vegan oatmeal cookie bars, and wondered if there was a way I could recreate that dessert with apples.
Well, lo and behold that is what we have here. They turned out so lovely and I wanted to immediately eat the whole pan. JK. Of course I shared a few with family members, who enjoyed them just as much as I did, going back for seconds – always a good sign.
what you need
gluten-free rolled oats
brown rice syrup or honey
We’re using NOW Foods chia seeds to help bind the ingredients together and act as the egg replacer, which makes these apple cookie bars vegan-friendly. All you have to do is add one tablespoon of chia seeds with three tablespoons of water and let the mixture sit to gel up. The chia seeds absorb the water and the gel-like consistency is the perfect way to turn regular baked goods vegan and/or egg-free.
If you’re new around here, I’ve been working with NOW foods for almost two years now and I love their product line. They have so many pantry staples and at really good prices! If you haven’t heard of them, keep an eye out for them in your natural grocery stores, or order online – I used tons of their products in these cookie bars here!
The cookie bars come together fairly quickly, but the hardest part is letting them cool once they’ve baked. You should *ideally* allow the cookie bars to cool for one hour in the pan before cutting them into squares. This will make sure the cookie bars keep their shape once cut into.
These cookie bars are loaded with spices, apples and that soft oatmeal cookie texture. You can’t go wrong with these!
- 1 1/2 TBS chia seeds + 5 TBS water
- 1 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup raw almond flour (almond meal)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
- 1/4 cup natural nut/seed butter (I used cashew)
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup brown rice syrup, agave or honey
- 1 small apple, peeled and chopped (about 1 heaping cup)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F, and line a 8×8 or 9×9 pan with parchment paper, or use a square silicone pan. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine chia seeds with water and set aside until gel forms (about 3-5 minutes).
- In medium bowl combine oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, spices, baking soda and salt. Stir with large spoon until well combined. Set aside.
- In large bowl, using hand mixer (or stand mixer with paddle attachment) cream together softened coconut oil and coconut sugar, about 1-2 minutes. Add in nut/seed butter, brown rice syrup (or honey), vanilla and chia seed/water; mix until until well combined.
- Add dry ingredients to large bowl of wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Add in chopped apples stirring with large wooden spoon until combined. Mixture should be thick and fairly wet, not too dry.
- Press mixture into prepared pan and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until edges have slightly browned.
- Let mixture cool in pan for 1 hour before removing. Waiting 45 minutes to one hour will ensure the bars stay together when cut.
- Carefully remove mixture with parchment paper from pan. Using a large, sharp knife cut into 16 squares.
- Keep cookie bars in airtight container 5-7 days at room temperature. Cookies may also be stored in fridge, or kept in freezer up to one month fresh.
recipe adapted from my Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
SOME OF THE PRODUCTS I USED IN TODAY’S RECIPE
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