Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookie Breakfast Bars


With Food Network’s Comfort Food Feast hosting a day of chocolate chip cookies in virtuous January, I racked my brain for a recipe that I could share with you that wouldn’t, you know, tempt you to eat chocolate chip cookies if you didn’t want to go there yet.

(If you do want to, we’ve got some options! Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares. Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk and Dark Chocolate. Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake. Chocolate Chip Macaroons. Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Coffee-Toffee Ice Cream Sandwich Squares. Insane.)

I remembered a recipe from Weelicious, a blog and book about cooking for kids and families. That seemed an unexpected choice for a quarter-life cook, but stay with me. I love kid food. The recipe I remembered is for breakfast bars, not-too-sweet rectangles of baked oatmeal punctuated by fruit and nuts.

To make my bars suitable for the adult palates around here, I made a couple of changes. Alex is a guy who believes in breakfast dessert, which usually takes the form of a small handful of chocolate chips. So chocolate chips replaced the fruit. The original recipe calls for applesauce, which isn’t something I usually have around. Out went applesauce, in went peanut butter (banned, I hear, in schools).

Last, I used pecans, whose rich, sweet flavor enhanced the chocolatey nature of these cookie-bars which function as a real, healthful, portable breakfast. In fact, I’m even more likely to eat these as snacks than breakfast, and I sometimes wrap them in plastic and stock in my purse, just in case hunger strikes. 

Here are the other awesome chocolate chip cookies other bloggers have made for Food Network’s Comfort Food Feast. Yum!

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies
What’s Gaby Cooking: Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Lemon Bowl: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
From My Corner of Saratoga: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Napa Farmhouse 1885: New Year’s Resolution Chocolate Chip Cookies
Red or Green?: Tao’s Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Made By Michelle: The Best Blondies, Ever
Cooking With Elise: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sweet Life Bike: Dulce de Leche Chocolate Chip Cookies
Virtually Homemade: Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Cultural Dish: Chocolate Chip Cookie Goodness
Thursday Night Dinner: Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
Dishin & Dishes: Chocolaty Chocolate Chip Cookies
Daily*Dishin: Chocolate Chip and Candied Bacon Cookies With Pecans
Devour:5 Takes on Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
FN Dish: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie


Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookie Breakfast Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 bars or 32 squares
These are not too sweet at all – more like a bowl of oatmeal than a cookie. In my book, that’s ideal for breakfast and snacking. If you’d like them sweeter, add an extra tablespoon or two of brown sugar, and/or use milk chocolate chips instead of the semisweet. Also, if your peanut butter is very smooth or at room temperature, you probably won’t need the electric mixer – just stir everything together. Since my peanut butter was cold and stiff, it was helpful to have the mixer to incorporate into the other ingredients. These keep well in the fridge for 5 days.
  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup neutral oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cup milk or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • ¾ cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease two 4½ by 8½-inch loaf pans.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Beat together the peanut butter, sugar, and oil with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then, whisk in the milk by hand – carefully, so you don’t splatter. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and fold to combine. Stir in chocolate and ½ cup nuts and pour the batter into the two prepared pans. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining pecans.
  4. Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden. Using an offset spatula, loosen the bars from the pan and turn onto a rack to cool completely. When cool, cut each pan into 8 bars. If you want smaller servings, cut each bar in half. Store in the fridge.


Posted in: Baking For Others
  • http://everyday-simple.blogspot.com/ Rachel

    Oh yum! I love a good breakfast bar, and I’ve been wanting to make my own to really be able to control what goes in them. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lindsayaarmstrong Lindsay Armstrong

    The recipe sounds delicious, but I am particularly taken with the term “breakfast dessert.” Love it!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Glad you like–breakfast dessert is an important term in our household.

  • Sheri

    What is neutral oil? Is that any oil you may have on hand? lol

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Ha! Neutral oil just means oil without any pronounced flavor – safflower (what I use), canola, vegetable. But olive oil would be too strong a flavor for these.

      • adoption revolution

        would coconut oil be a good match…not neutral, but breakfasty and desserty…?

  • Kris

    This looks delicious. Would you say this a crispy or chewy bar?

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Absolutely chewy – almost doughy. In fact, it’s almost like eating oatmeal!

      • Jamie Johnston

        Wow! They look crispy to me! I can’t wait to try them! :)

  • Gemma Chew

    Love this! I’ll be incorporating this into my breakfast rotation now!


  • Tiffany

    I made these, and they were fantastic!!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      So glad to hear it!

  • samidasilva

    only discovered your site yesterday and have already made a batch of these bars and the chai latte, both were truly delicous, will continue to enjoy I’m sure

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Welcome! Glad you made the chai–one of my all-time favorites.

  • Marcie

    This is brilliant. I eat oatmeal for breakfast almost every day, but not in cookie form. I will most certainly try this, and I’m sure I’ll be blogging about it when I do.

  • J Barrett

    Chocolate for breakfast (or any meal) is definitely going to get a thumbs-up from me!


  • Marcie

    I just made these tonight & we loved them! They’re just sweet enough. I added sweetened flaked coconut & some cinnamon. They really are soft like oatmeal!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Love the addition of coconut!

  • http://twitter.com/VanessCeballos Vanessa Ceballos

    These were really great and have been wonderful to have on hand in the fridge as I NEVER wake up with enough time to make breakfast, let alone eat it.
    One suggestion, however: It would be easier to follow the recipe if the ingredients were listed in the order they are used in the recipe. Also, the vanilla extract is no where in the recipe instructions.

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Thanks for pointing that out, Vanessa…my mistake. Recipe is updated now with vanilla and correct order. In any event, glad you enjoyed the bars and how convenient they were!

  • MeghanML

    how do you think they would hold up with freezing, if i make a double batch?

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      I haven’t tried, but I bet they’d hold up splendidly. I’d cut them into bars, and perhaps wrap individually. Let us know how it goes!

  • Joanne

    These look so good. So much better than store bought granola or cereal bars. :)

  • Lyvvie

    Peanut butter is not school friendly but Sunflower Seed Butter is great! Try that as an alternative with toasted sunflower seeds instead of nuts.

  • Tammy Carpenter

    I made this today. I have been looking something that is low sugar. It turned out very good. I think the next go around I will make a few adaptations, coconut oil instead of canola oil, and dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet. I didn’t have any wheat flour so I used white. I will need to try it with the wheat flour.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Emily Loving

    I made these yesterday and they turned out so moist! My whole family loved them. I can usually never get my dad and brother to like anything with whole wheat flour, but they came back for seconds! These definitely qualify as one of my favorite go-to breakfasts.

    I pretty much stuck to the recipe except I used half chopped pecans and half chopped walnuts. Next time I would mix in all the nuts to the batter because most fell off the top as I was cutting the bars… and maybe add coconut?

    MeghanML I cut the bars after cooling, wrapped them individually in foil, and froze them in a ziploc freezer bag. This morning I grabbed one out of the freezer and zapped it in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds. It was the perfect breakfast as I flew out the door and I couldn’t even tell that they had been frozen :)


  • Lynne_k

    I want to make these but I’m not a fan of the mushyness of traditional oatmeal. I like when I can actually see each grain. Does this recipe make the grains expand or do they stay firm.
    Also, I’m thinking of adding some ground chia for the boost of omega-3 and raisins and dried apricots for flavor. Woulda that be good?

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      These stay fairly firm, but you’re not disguising the fact that they’re oatmeal! Chia + omega3 + raisins sounds great: they’re adaptable!

  • natattack

    is it possible to make them crunchy?

  • Nancy

    what can be used instead of peanut butter? I’m allergic :

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Applesauce is a great option.

  • http://twitter.com/DebHarkness Deborah Harkness

    Hi, Cara! These were great. Thank you for the recipe. In case there are any other gluten free types out there who would like to try them, I substituted 1/3 cup of millet flour, 1/3 cup of brown rice flour, and 1/3 cup hazelnut flour for the whole wheat and they turned out very well, in case you were wondering. :)

  • Joanna

    I made these and I love them! I froze them and I defrost two small squares in the fridge overnight for breakfast on the run in the morning.

  • Sarah

    Absolutely delicious! After I cut them I re-baked them for extra crispiness!

  • Maddy B

    Hi! these look great – are you able to post nutritional information about these? Thank you!

  • ilvia

    So I just made these baked for 30 min and noticed that the inside seemed still mushy raw. Is that normal or should I cook longer than 30min?

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Hm, they’ll definitely solidify more as they cool, but the inside does always stay a little doughy. Hope you enjoyed!

  • KB

    If using applesauce instead of peanut butter (I’m not allergic, but hate the taste of peanut butter!) would you use the same amount (1/4 cup)? Also, what kind of oats do you use? Old fashioned? Instant? Thank you!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Same amount! For oats–I use old fashioned but instant will work too.

  • Alyssa DelGiorno Butchko

    can i use white flour instead of wheat??? will it change taste or cooking time?

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Definitely! It’ll make them taste a bit less grainy, but cookie time should be the same.

  • Jenny

    Do you have to cook the oats before starting this recipe??

  • Jenny

    Do you have to cook the oats before starting the recipe??

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK


  • Janet

    this got to be one of the best oatmeal breakfast! yummy
    martin huang

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