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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Easy to make / people always ask me for the recipe... Oats, chocolate chips, vanilla, salt, and a secret addition of molasses @choccoveredkt

True story:

I was once on national television… in my underwear. 😕

It was when I was 5 years old, on a popular children’s show similar to Sesame Street. The goal of the segment was to teach young children how to get dressed by themselves: this was in the early 90s, therefore footage is thankfully not immortalized online.

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Possibly even more fun than the filming process was when the show aired and everyone reconvened for a viewing party. One child’s mother brought in three plates of gooey chocolate chip cookie bars for the occasion, and not a single person left that day without having asked for the recipe. The bars would become a staple in my childhood home for many years afterwards.

Today’s recipe is a healthy makeover of those addictive chocolate chip cookie bars.

I played around to find the perfect amount of applesauce to lower the fat, calories, and sugar while still maintaining the bars’ seductively gooey texture. The subtly-strong flavor of the surprise ingredient—molasses!—takes these bars completely over the top.

They are sure to win you over!

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Print This Recipe 5/5
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


  • 1 1/2 cups spelt or all-purpose flour (180g) (oat flour works; the texture is just a bit gummier)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (20g)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or date sugar (90g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup chocolate chips, depending on how chocolatey you want the bars to be
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil (80g)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (120g)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (9g)
  • pinch stevia, or 2 tbsp sugar of choice
  • 3 tbsp blackstrap or regular molasses (43g)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line the bottom of an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, then set aside. In a mixing bowl, stir together the first 6 ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together all liquid ingredients, then pour wet over dry and stir to form a batter. Spoon into the prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes. Makes 15-24 squares, depending on how large you cut them. (The ones in the photos are cut from 24.) I love the unique molasses flavor in these bars, but you can always substitute pure maple syrup or agave or honey (vegans don’t use honey) if you’d prefer.

*View Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Nutrition Facts*



Link Of The Day:

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Published on February 10, 2014

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

Learn more about Katie

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  1. kris says

    I tried these today with the oat flour and gf oats and they are wonderful! I did end up increasing the bake time by about 15 minutes because they just seemed too gooey after 25, but I really like the texture. They are a little gooey but still hold together as a bar. yum!

  2. Emily says

    I am actually a bit offended by “vegans don’t eat honey”. I don’t like honey. So I do not eat it. I do, however, think it is rude to think of anyone as any less of a vegan if they do consume honey(as long as it is retrieved without harming, WHICH DOES EXIST). I think if you say things like that it should be, STRICT vegans don’t eat honey. Did you know some figs have bug remnants in them? Does that make people who eat figs not vegan? Some farms kill insects off from their produce, So does that mean eating fruits and veggies because of the insect harm makes us unvegan? I think it is a sensitive subject. If the point of being vegan is to cause less harm (and in my beliefs, spread the love), then why not except? Its not like they’re chowing on chicken.
    I can’t afford a lot of the “Vegan” clothing. So am i not vegan?
    Anyway. I believe if we were a bit more excepting and less mean to each other. Then more people would adopted a vegan style of living.

    • Vienna says

      She often references ‘strict vegans’ as not eating honey. There are the vegans who attack other vegans for eating honey, and now you represent those who are offended by people saying vegans don’t eat honey. Frankly there is no winning! Instead of vegans being portrayed as those who are compassionate, they certainly can come across as antagonistic. Read Katie’s pages on her approach to veganism. You will find she IS a vegan that tries to lead an example of a vegan lifestyle that others would be attracted to.

      • Emily says

        Well I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make this ‘about me’.
        I happen to love chocolate covered katie, and thoroughly enjoy all of her posts. This is the internet. I’m allowed to speak my mind in anyway that I want. (as is everyone else).
        I had just come from a huge instagram debacle on this subject, and it really bugs me when vegans do that to each other. I’d almost rather have someone just say nothing at all. I just think’s it a tad rude, I don’t know why. It just irked me to read (vegans don’t use honey). I know she often puts (honey is not for strict vegans). I apologize because this wasn’t the place, and in the long hall I know it doesn’t really matter. ‘LOL’ though? really? how old are you?

        • Anna says

          Some people are not aware that some vegans don’t eat honey (I never knew before visiting this blog a couple years ago). Perhaps Katie puts that note there for people who are not aware of it.

        • k says

          I’m 43 and I found your comment to be rude. It ‘irked’ me and this is the internet, I am allowed to speak my mind in anyway that I want. It also irks me when people nitpick Katie’s blog posts and recipes. She should also be allowed to post whatever she wants on the internet.

          • Emily says

            You’re right. It was rude. I’m allowed to have my opinions just as is everyone else. There is a time and a place and this was neither. I typed irrationally. I really should have thought about what I was complaining about. I love this blog and it doesn’t need added drama. I’m also sorry to sound so snarky. ‘k” I really didn’t mean to be so rude. And irked is just something my dad always uses. But you’re right, and I was wrong. This blog is suppose to be fun, light hearted, and delicious. Wether you want to use honey, maple syrup, agave, or sugar in general(and who uses it or not!) shouldn’t even be a matter of argument! from now on only positive reinforcement of how amazing these recipes are is what I will focus on!

    • Jacob says

      She did say “SIMILAR to Sesame Street,” so perhaps you’re off the mark. Several of the little kids in that vid could have been Katie as a kindergartener, though, so we won’t know for sure until she responds yea or nay, if she chooses to do so. 🙂 Nice search work, Mike.

      Katie, thanks for all your recipes…I am looking forward to making the GF version of the cinnamon roll pancakes for my wife as a surprise Valentine’s Day breakfast (she has Celiac Disease), and possibly the recent molten chocolate lava cake to go with some decaf espresso and a board game after the kids are in bed!

  3. Amina Imran says

    Katie, you’re absolutely stunning! And not just in that photo, but just in general. You’re also so kind and so cute. 🙂 And did you say “author”? I can’t believe you’re writing a book! Congratulations! Can’t wait to read it 🙂

  4. Quinn says

    Hi Katie! I adapted your recipe in my newest blog post(which will be up tomorrow morning). I’d love if you could check it out because your blog inspires me so so much! Thanks for sharing all your recipes with us.

  5. Beth says

    Oh my gosh, I’m SO EXCITED TO MAKE THESE. One of my boyfriend’s favorite treats is cookie bars, but we don’t make them often because of how unhealthy most recipes for them are, and instead opt for lighter choices. Thanks, Katie!

  6. Hedda says

    I just made this! It was sooooo good! Moist and delicious! I subbed some of the oil for pnb. Next time I’m going to add a litte bit of walnuts and use less sugar.

  7. Erin says

    Hi all! I just tried making these and wanted to make a note – if you use coconut oil, you need to melt it in order for it to be blendable – and this made my chocolate chips melt when I blended the ingredients together! lol.

    I still went ahead and baked these anyways, but they are kind of like gooey brownies now. So may be best to stay away from warm coconut oil and try vegetable instead!

    • Chocolate Covered Katie says

      I’d recommend melting the coconut oil before even adding it to the recipe. That’s what I always do when using coconut oil in baked goods (unless it is so hot outside that it’s already melted… but sadly that is not the case right now ;)).

  8. Mia (Mia in Germany) says

    Katie, that’s a beautiful photo 🙂
    I made these bars today and love them! As I’m not really sweet toothed, I only used the 3 tbsp. molasses and 1 tbsp. of additional erythritol, and I made them with gluten free flour. They turned out absolutely perfect!
    The only thing I’m unsure about is how to store them? Can I keep them in a cookie jar? And if so, how long?

  9. Melissa says

    I just made these subbing ww pastry flour for the ap. I also used coconut sugar (slightly less and not packed) and they are real good. Tons of molasses flavor came through. Thank you 🙂

  10. Anu says

    Looks scrumptious and healthy.. Amazing blog. Have tried few of your recipes. Thanks.
    I can’t be without saying about pictures. Beautiful clicks.

  11. Michael W. says

    Got halfway through the recipe before I realised we were out of molasses and parchment paper and only had a 9×9, ended up subbing buckwheat honey and adding about 1/2tsp of cinnamon and 1/4tsp cloves because that’s how we usually make our chocolate chip cookies and they turned out great. My dad went to pick a piece up off the cooling rack, but in the description I said the words, “low fat” and he put it down… Came back later and he’d eaten 3, so I figure it’s a keeper.
    Thanks for yet another delicious recipe!

    • Michael W. says

      ‘nother note: I snuck one while it was still warm and I could definitely taste the “made with oil and applesause” flavour I’m used to in healthy/vegan baking, but when they cooled completely the spice flavours really came out and I honestly couldn’t taste it anymore. (not that it bothers me, but for more finicky family members *cough*dad*cough* it made a difference)

  12. Marion says

    Hey Katie!
    I just discovered your website and I think it’s amazing! This is the first recipe I’ve tried and I really enjoyed it! Mine only looks a bit dark brown chocolaty because I used warm coconut oil and hot home-made apple sauce. Maybe I should use the cold versions next time. Anyway, it tasted so good, I actually think this is the best sweet & healthy recipe I’ve made. (and I’ve been cooking healthy for a few years now) So thank you very much!

  13. Katherine says

    I just made these for my studio for Valentine’s day! I doubled the recipe and used a 9×13. I used equal amounts of whole wheat, AP, and oat flour. I used half vegetable and half coconut oil. I also added a bit of cinnamon. They turned out wonderfully! Thank you Katie!!

  14. Zoe says

    I made the recipe and I didn’t have ALOT of the ingredients. I Did not have applesauce but I substituted a mashed banana, I also did not have molasses but I substituted honey. I put extra chocolate (my family hates too much chocolate, but who’s making the recipe here?) & 2 tbs of flaxseed.It came out very moist. Family loved it, will make it again.

  15. Noora Turunen says

    I did these few days ago. They are perfect! 🙂
    I replaced half of brown sugar with coconut sugar though. And used maple syrup.
    I maybe should have used something else than olive oil (it gives this “weird” taste to it) and neither of my parents liked it. So I have to eat it all alone. But that’s not bad thing I guess… 😉
    Thanks again Katie for awesome recipe! I had to show of your blog and my baking in my blog 🙂

  16. Laura says

    I’m gonna make these with coconut sugar, gf flour blend, and pumpkin for applesauce. Should work, right? I don’t care if it tastes like fall. It’s still winter, after all!

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