Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Recipe by Lucy May Lennox #GuestPost #Giveaway

Love in Touch Cover 450Kassie has felt adrift ever since her dad died when she was in college. Now 24 and living in Seattle, she gets interested in learning sign language through her roommate, a sign language interpreter. One day at a Deaf community event, she sees a young man sitting off by himself. Kassie feels compelled to try signing to him–the fact that he’s strikingly handsome doesn’t hurt.

Jake has been deaf and blind since birth. His disability has cut him off from the world, but beneath his isolated exterior, is a smart, sweet guy with a dry sense of humor. Despite the odds, he’s highly educated, but at 26, he’s gotten stuck in a rut, with few friends and no clear career plans. Until a sweet-smelling girl introduces herself to him unexpectedly, and opens up a whole new world to him.

Jake is more intelligent, more genuine than anyone she has met before, and for the first time Kassie starts to feel like her life has some direction. But as their friendship deepens into something more, the difficulty in communicating with each other only grows, and it seems like everyone they know thinks their relationship won’t work. How can they come to a deeper understanding of each other, and find a future together?

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**Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars**
Lucy May Lennox

There's a lot of food in Love in Touch, because I love to eat! I also love to cook and especially to bake at home. There's really nothing better than homemade, especially for things like cakes and cookies. So today I though I would share a recipe.

I've already guest posted about my insane love of chocolate chip cookies. But they really have a lot of sugar and fat, which is a problem if (like me) you want to eat them every day. Here's an alternative I developed which is slightly healthier but still tastes delicious.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

1 cup steel cut oats*
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1/2 cup lowfat or nonfat yogurt (plain)
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp sugar (brown or white)
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1 cup chocolate chips

*Make sure to use steel cut oats (also called pinhead oats). Don't use rolled oats, quick oats or oatmeal, or it will come out too mushy.

Butter an 11x7 baking pan and preheat oven to 375˚F. Mix the milk and yogurt in a bowl and set aside. Dry roast the oats in a skillet over medium/low heat, stirring constantly until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add immediately to the milk/yogurt at let stand at least 30 minutes.

Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Cut in butter using fork, pastry blender or stand mixer until crumbly. Stir in oat mixture and vanilla. Mixture will be stiff but should hold together. If it's too crumbly, add more milk a tablespoon at a time as needed. Add cranberries, nuts, and chocolate chips. Pour into buttered pan, pressing evenly into the corners.

Bake at 375˚F for 40 minutes or until golden brown on top and dry in the center. Let cool then cut into bars.

**About Lucy May Lennox**
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Lucy May Lennox is a lifelong resident of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her first ambition in life was to become a child actor, but when she grew too old to be an adorable prodigy, she turned to writing instead. A connoisseur of novels featuring men with physical disabilities, she grew frustrated with all the cliches, ignorance and stereotypes and decided to write her own positive take on disability. In addition to writing, Lucy also enjoys cooking and gardening, and is an amateur opera singer.

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