By Dianne Bunis
If the Sochi Olympics are inspiration to play in the snow and work on your style of sledding, skating or hitting the big mountain, be sure to pack this gold medal-worthy snack.
Go USA Oatmeal Cookie Bars
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 organic eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old-fashioned oats (uncooked, not quick-cooking)
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup sliced almonds, unsalted
1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds, roasted, unsalted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-by-8-inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, mix well.
Add oats, raisins, cranberries and coconut, fold in until combined.
Divide dough in half, reserve one of the halves*.
Press half of the dough into prepared pan, scatter almonds and pumpkin seeds on top.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, score and slice into bars. Store tightly covered. Wrap individual bars in parchment paper and tie with string.
*Reserve half: bake another batch or wrap tightly in plastic and freeze bag or container for up to two months.