Looking for tasty ways to get young kids to eat the good stuff? These sweet treats are low in sugar and full of wholesome oats, so you can feel good about baking them for your brood. Bonus, they're so simple that little hands can help. Grab your favorite mini chef and get cooking!
What You'll Need
To make these cookies, you'll need: 1 1/2 cups of whole old-fashioned oats, 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup strawberry fruit spread and 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Tools needed: mixing bowl, rubber spatula, 9x13 inch pan and a medium-sized heart-shaped cookie cutter.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, pour in the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. (This is a good step to let kids help.) Mix until evenly distributed.
Add butter, and with clean hands use your fingers to kneed the ingredients together until crumbly. Kids love this step.
Set a Bit Aside
Put about 1 cup of your doughy mixture aside to use as the top.
Make the Bottom Layer
Again with clean hands, spread the oat mixture onto an ungreased 9x13 baking pan. The layer should be as even as possible, extending to every corner of the pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.
Begin the Top Layer
After the oat mixture has come out of the oven, allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Then place an even layer of fruit spread all over the top, covering every bit of it. Finish by sprinkling all of the chocolate chips over that. Make sure the chocolate is evenly spaced but don't worry about gaps between chips. You'll put crumbly oats on top next.
Finish the Top Layer
Using the reserved oat mixture, sprinkle crumbles all over the top layer. The crumbles don't have to completely cover the whole pan; the fruit spread and chocolate chips will peek through.
Back in the Oven
Once the top layer of fruit spread, chocolate chips and oat mixture has been added, bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned.
After the cookies have baked, allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Then use a cookie cutter to create heart shapes. If needed, use a butter knife to smooth off the edges. Tip: Get the most hearts out of your pan by cutting in a straight row, first right-side up then upside down. Use the extra edges left in the pan for a decadent topping on your next bowl of oatmeal or roll into balls and voilà: more cookies.
Squares Work Too
Don't have a heart-shaped cookie cutter? Simply cut them into squares -- these treats are still very festive with the red jam peeking through. Adults and kids alike will love them. (And shhhh, don't tell the little ones that they're good for them, too!)