“Spring Clean Your Fridge” Challenge Day #5: Oatmeal Raisin Mash-Up Bars!

Confession: I almost considered cheating today. I signed up to bake for our DPT school’s “PT Olympics” tomorrow, a fundraising event hosted by the class of 2015, and I reallllllly wanted to make energy bites. But energy bites require a considerable amount of peanut butter to make them anywhere near decent. And they require a LOT of peanut butter to make them the little balls of deliciousness that we all know and love. Times two, because this would be a double batch. Sigh. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, as I make sure to have back-up PB in the pantry. And then a back-up PB for the back-up PB. And when you’re trying not to go grocery shopping at all, and eat the stuff like we do in our house, this is just not an option. Because currently our peanut butter jar looks like this:photo 1 (73)

As much as I love my classmates, they just would not appreciate the sacrifice that spooning out this last bit of peanut butter would require. Or the #peanutbutterknuckles that would result. (Yes I just #hashtagged that. I am sorry.)

Instead, I thought to myself, well, maybe I can make some of those applesauce oatmeal raisin muffins instead! 

But those require a good cup of milk. And currently our milk jug looks like this:

photo 2 (65)

Sigh. What to do, what to do? Break the pact, go to the store, and get the darn PB and milk? And shame myself publicly when I post a recipe full of LIES?

I decided I would make do with what we had. And luckily, what we are not anywhere close to running out of, is oats. Happy happy, joy joy. I love oats. And they love me.

I felt too lazy relaxed after my spontaneous Friday night Sangria date with my dear friend Sarah to actually make cookies, so I decided to make oatmeal raisin-esque breakfast bars. I also didn’t want to deal with waiting for our frozen butter to soften, so I substituted half of with our one lonely applesauce cup remaining. Hey- it’s healthier that way, right? You PT Olympians can thank me later.

I had a Quaker Oats Peach and Almond flavored oatmeal container in the pantry, so I decided to use that to substitute for some of the oats and sugar (the stuff on its own is a tad bit too sweet for me to eat by itself!). I also sprinkled in some leftover Easter candy- mini m&ms and two crunch chocolates (which MAY have been from last year’s Easter baskets…). Also added in some cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, walnut morsels, and dried cranberries.

The result ended up being a not-too-sweet, almost healthy tasting cookie bar that puffed up nicely!

photo 2 (64)

photo 1 (72)


Oatmeal Raisin Mash-Up Bars!
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 20
A raid-your-pantry kind of dessert, perfect for getting rid of extra leftover Easter candy!
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1 6 oz. container unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 container Quaker Oats Peach and Almond Prepared Oatmeal (just shy of 1 cup)
  • 1 3/4 Old-fashioned Oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup raisins/cranberries/other dried fruit of your choosing
  • 1/4 cup walnut (or other nut) morsels
  • ~1/3 cup leftover Easter candy (I used mini m&ms and crushed chocolate crunch candies)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a sheet cake pan with cooking spray.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add applesauce and beat until smooth.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gradually beat into the wet ingredients.
  5. Stir in fruit, nuts, and candies.
  6. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes or until top is golden-brown.
  8. Cool and cut into bars.

Here’s to another no-grocery day! Happy weekend, and happy nibbling 🙂

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