These started off as chewy, oatmeal seed bars that are different to my breakfast cookies. I wanted to make a bar that was not too hard but also not very soft. These fit the bill! I did not put the chopped, dried cranberries in these but will do so next time. It's important to make sure that the mixture is really compacted tightly in the baking tin. I used the method of covering the mixture with plastic wrap and using a rolling pin to to the compacting. It worked well. Press the mixture in the pan using your fingers first, then use the rolling pin to really pack it tightly. I used puffed millet to give add some crunch to the bars but any of the puffed cereals can be used. I like the Arrowhead Mills range. If you want to make the bars crisp, replace 1/2 cup of the Scottish Oatmeal with Durum Atta flour, and extend the time of the second bake by 1 hour at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The bars also have to be placed on a rack for this second bake.
3 cups Scottish oatmeal
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Lyles Golden Syrup
2 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp baking soda
2-3 Tbsp Molasses
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup puffed Millet
1/2 cup Flax meal (or 1/4 cup wheat germ+1/4 cup flax meal)
1/4 cup Finely Chopped Pumpkin seeds
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds1/4 cup chopped, dried cranberries (optional)
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, vanilla, chopped cranberries, golden syrup, butter, coconut oil, salt, and molasses. Heat the mixture slowly, stirring until all combined and the mixture is bubbling.
2.Toss together the oatmeal, puffed millet, wheat germ, baking soda, flax meal, cinnamon, sesame and pumpkin seeds. Pour in the sugar mixture, water and baking soda, stirring as you pour. Mix until everything is well coated with the liquid mixture.
3.Press firmly into a shallow baking pan lined with parchment paper. The mixture fits perfectly in a 9x11x1 inch pan. Make sure the paper overhangs the sides of the baking pan (photo). Use your fingers to press the mixture first, then cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and use a rolling pin as seen in the photo
4. Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and score into squares with a sharp knife (do not cut all the way through).
Then decrease the temperature to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, cut along score lines to form squares but leave to cool in pan. Lift parchment paper out of the pan and fully cut square pieces with a sharp knife. To make the crunchy variation, modify the oatmeal mixture as explained at the beginning, after the first bake break the bars along the score lines and place on a rack in a baking tin. Lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake for about 1 hour to dry the bars out completely. Remove from oven when the bars are a dark brown color, cool on the rack and keep in an airtight container.