*Edited - The amount of sugar should have been one cup total, not two cups.
I could call these LoLo/Myrnie/Lera Oatmeal Cookie/Bars. Ok, that's an awful name....but I'm really not sure what to call these! The original recipe came from Lera, at The Sky is Pink. The lovely and affable Myrnie tried the recipe, and changed it just a smidge, patting it into a cookie sheet instead of scooping into balls. The result was a large sheet of cookies that disappeared at an alarming rate.
Then the recipe landed at Casa LoLo. And you KNOW I can't leave well enough alone. I tweaked, and I fiddled, and I forgot, and I compensated...and I came up with my Perfect Snack. I always make these before road trips, because they are healthier than other cookies, just sweet enough to be a treat for the kids, and with all the oatmeal and dried fruit, they have serious Staying Power. (Not to mention Magical Fiber Properties, but we won't go into that here. This is a food blog, after all.)
I like to press the mix into a 9x13 pan, and then cut the cookies into at least 42 small squares. Bite size! I grab one every time I pass the cookie jar. The perfect little mouthful...
Aunt LoLo's Chocolate Granola Bar Cookies
(Makes 1 cookie sheet full. Cut as desired.)
4 cups regular oatmeal (Quick Cooking oats will give you a more tender cookie.)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (loosely scooped) (Alternately, leave out the white sugar and use 1 cup of brown sugar for a chewier cookie.)
1 cup canola oil (Olive oil would work as well)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 beaten eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 cup dried fruit
The night before:
In a large bowl, combine your oatmeal, sugars and canola oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it set out overnight (or at least a few hours. Or not at all. You know, it's totally up to you.)
*Note - if you were to use quick-cooking oats here, you would get a much more tender cookie. I like them chewy, with distinct bits of oatmeal. To each their own!
Preheat your oven to 350 and grease your pan of choice. (A 9x13 pan will give you thicker, chewier cookies. A cookie sheet will give you thinner, slightly crispier cookies.) Add to your oatmeal mixture vanilla, eggs, flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger and mixed dried fruit. (Use whatever is on hand. Chop it all up to approximately raisin-sized chunks, and you're good to go. Craisins, dried pineapple and raisins make an awesome mix.) Mix with a spoon, and then with your hands, making sure all of the flour is incorporated and the dough is uniformly wet. Dump your dough into your prepared pan, and mash it into submission. Make sure it is uniformly thick, and spread all the way to the edges of the pan.
Bake approximately 15 minutes for a 9x13 pan, or until the edges just start to turn golden. Remove from the oven, and immediately scatter chocolate chips across the top. (About 3/4 cup should do it.) Wait 5 minutes, or until the chips are glistening. That means they are ready to bend to your will. Muahahahahah. Get your off-set spatula and go to town, spreading out the chocolate chip icing. (Alternately, you could have used parchment paper to line your pan and then dumped the whole thing onto a cutting board before adding the chocolate chips. It might make it easier to cut up later.) Now walk away. Let your cookies sit for at least 45 minutes, or until the chocolate is hardened. Now you can cut it up into as many pieces as you like! I really prefer teeny, tiny cookies so that they are one comfortable bite.