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Chocolate Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Christmas season is upon us and, as always, I have a couple of cookie exchanges coming up and  have been combing the internet for inspiration so I can make something shiny and new. I also wanted to enter the cookie contest over at Manitoba Canola Growers but the deadline is today at 4pm so that put me on a bit of a deadline. I tend to procrastinate until it's almost too late and then I fly into action - I enjoy working under pressure. I have been told that all that stress will burn away the pounds but I have yet to find this to be true. It probably doesn't help that my stressful energy is spent baking things that must be tasted I suppose.

 To enter the Canola recipe contest, you must make a cookie using canola oil as your only fat - no butter ladies. I will admit that I have never made a cookie without using butter and I was a bit skeptical but open to trying it out. I am not sure why since I have had many vegan sweets that were delicious and I assume that they would most likely use only oil as well. After much searching and reading and combing through other people's blogs, I settled on this basic recipe for Oatmeal Cookie Bars on a blog called One Ordinary Day when I realized that I can't remember ever making this type of bar cookie and for some reason, it appealed to me more than a classic cookie. The recipe called for something called cinnamon chips and not only do I not have any, I am not sure I have ever seen them before. I prefer a mix of sweet add ins anyway, so I subbed in three kinds of chips and some crunchy skor bits because crunchy skor bits always make life a bit better.

I found the contest over at Food Bloggers of Canada , the hosts of the upcoming Food Bloggers of Canada Conference and the grand prize is one all-inclusive registration to the conference, accommodation and all meals and man, do I plan to eat a ton so winning would be a big help.

I was afraid that these cookies would be too dense or something without the butter but I was wrong. They are chewy and soft and have a really nice feel in the mouth. Next time I think I will use a grainier kosher salt so that you see the grains of salt on top of the bar - they won't taste any different but they will look a bit prettier and I am all about prettier. All in all, this experiment was a great success and it's nice to know that I can still make delicious cookies for The Kid even when I forget to take butter out to soften.

Chocolate Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookie Bars
adapted from One Ordinary Day

1/2 c. canola oil
1 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 3/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup skor bits
sea salt to sprinkle on top (if your sea salt is really fine, I would sub in some kosher salt)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 13×9″ pan with foil or parchment, so that the ends hang over the long sides of your pan like handels.

In a the bowl for your stand mixer using the paddle, combine oil, sugars, eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt.  Mix on medium until the sugars are dissolved - it took me about 3 minutes.

In another bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, the three kind of chips and the skor bits.  Stir until mixed with a wooden spoon.  Add to liquid mixture and mix briefly  (The batter is very thick.)  Transfer to prepared pan. I used her tip and spread the mixture over the pan with dampened fingers and it worked like a charm. Sprinkle the top with some sea salt.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until it looks like it's starting to brown up a bit (I baked it for 20).  Remove from oven and cool completely before using the handles of your parchment or foil to carefully lift it out.  Put it on a cutting board and slice it up into squares.

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