Oatmeal-Bran Cookie Bars

I recently came across another way to use up some of those cartons of oats and bags of bran spilling out of my pantry. Brandi of Bran Appetit posted an intriguing recipe for Brandi's Cookie Bars. I used her recipe with a few changes to make cookie bars of my own. Please visit Brandi's blog for the original recipe. And if you're a fan of oatmeal cookies and chocolate, make these now!

Oatmeal-Bran Cookie Bars (adapted from Bran Appetit)

2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup bran
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips (I'd up this to 1/2 cup next time I make them)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square pan, line with parchment paper, and butter parchment paper. Set aside.

Mix oats, bran, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl.

In small bowl, beat two eggs together. Add eggs and applesauce to oat mixture, and stir until combined. Mix in chocolate and butterscotch chips.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until set and starting to brown. Let cool and then cut into bars.

This recipe makes some delicious, gooey, chocolatey bars that are relatively healthy. Applesauce replaces any butter or oil a normal recipe might call for. The bars are a little chewy due to all the oats, but the bran is barely noticeable. And don't forget that oats and bran are really good for you! I made these bars to take for a breakfast that would keep me full until lunchtime (a nice change from oatmeal or fruit and yogurt), but I'm sure they would make a good afternoon or after-dinner snack too.

Other oat- and bran-heavy treats to check out:
Henrietta's Table Granola
Honey Oat Banana Bran Mini Muffins