Making Friday even sweeter with these Healthier Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars. These one-bowl homemade oatmeal cookie bars with dark chocolate chunks and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt are the perfect way to end the week. They’re super easy and made a touch healthier with a mix of whole grain oats, whole wheat flour, coconut or olive oil, and a reduced amount of sugar. But most importantly, everyone LOVES these bars! Plus, they’re pretty difficult to mess up…they always turn out GREAT.
Going back to my childhood roots with these oatmeal cookie bars. For any of you that know anything about my mom, you know that when my brothers and I were growing up, she’d have dessert on the table before dinner was even a thought. Her staples were chocolate chip cookies, special K-bars, chocolate cake, and her famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that she’s been making ever since her friend Lora gave her the recipe (before I was even born).
Oh her cookies. My memories of them are so fond and perfect. We’d always eat them a little warm and gooey right after baking and always with a cold glass of milk. Very classic, right? To this day, these are some of my favorite memories. Baking in the kitchen with mom and zero brothers around.
Fun fact? My purpose in life as a kid was to figure out a way to get mom all to myself without any of my five brothers. It was tricky, but when I made it happen I loved every minute of our one-on-one time.
Anyway, when my mom wasn’t feeling like baking her round chocolate cookies, she’d make oatmeal cookie bars. Her recipe is EASY and it’s the BEST. You simply cannot beat a one bowl, ten-minute prep, and pantry staple cookie bar.
Mom would make her oatmeal cookie bars once a week. And there were definitely many weeks she’d make them twice. When a recipe is as easy and as delicious as her bars, it becomes a staple in the kitchen. But here’s the truth. Over the years I’ve adapted her recipe, making small tweaks here and there to adjust them to be a little bit healthier and maybe even better?
It’s hard to beat an oatmeal cookie bar baked by my mom, but these healthier dark chocolate chunk oatmeal cookie bars come very, very close.
Here are the very simple details.
This recipe requires just one bowl and a spoon…no mixer. It’s completely no-fuss, and takes ten minutes to toss together. You can’t mess these bars up. They are practically foolproof.
In your mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. Now, add all of the wet ingredients. Mix away until you have a crumbly dough. Stir in plenty fo dark chocolate chunks, then press the dough into a baking dish. Bake twenty minutes and sprinkle with flaky sea salt once you remove them from the oven.
Smell the wonderfulness? Do you see the melty chocolate?
I don’t love the word perfect, but these oatmeal cookies are pretty close to it.
A few notes and keys to success…
Normally I’m all for butter, but with this cookie recipe there is no sub…oil is what works best, and is a bit healthier too. Over the years I’ve discovered that you can use melted coconut (which I prefer) or extra virgin olive oil (which is also delicious but adds a little flavor to the cookie).
To make these a heartier cookie, I replaced half of the white flour with whole wheat flour and reduced the sugar by half. And of course, was sure to stir in plenty of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.
Oh, and you can’t forget a nice dusting of flaky sea salt. You don’t have to, but it sure is good…
One thing I do want to note is that these cookie bars are crumbly. It’s just the way they are, and it’s apart of what makes them delicious. So embrace the crumbly cookie bar. Promise you, it’s so good.
What I love about these cookies is that they’re so easy to make. They require no chilling and truly take just thirty minutes from start to finish. I almost always have these ingredients on hand. So when it’s Friday night and the urge for a delicious yet slightly healthier chocolatey cookie comes on? These cookies are always what I bake. Always.
They’re just perfectly crisp on the edges but soft and gooey in the middle. The best kind of cookie.
Bake these tonight, or sometime this weekend. Then make them again whenever you’re craving something sweet. Perfect for any time of the year bar, and such a great staple recipe. Hope you ENJOY!
Looking for other healthier desserts for the weekend? Some favorites…
Lastly, if you make these healthier dark chocolate chunk oatmeal cookie bars, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Healthier Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars
Servings: 24 bars
Calories Per Serving: 262 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2-3/4 cup light brown sugar, us more for a sweeter cookie (I use only 1/2 cup)
- 1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar, us more for a sweeter cookie (I use only 1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup melted coconut oil (see notes)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chunks
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter or line with parchment paper. 2. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the oatmeal, flour, whole wheat flour brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until the dough is moist and all the ingredients are combined. The dough will be crumbly. Mix in the chocolate chunks. 3. Press the dough into the prepared baking dish. It will seem crumbly. Transfer to the oven and bake 18-20 minutes or until the edges are set and the bars are golden. Sprinkle with flaky salt (if desired). Let cool and then cut into bars.
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To Make Gluten Free: Use an equal amount of your favorite gluten free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. I recommend Cup4Cup gluten free flour. To Replace Coconut Oil: use an equal amount of olive oil, melted butter, or canola oil. Storing: these cookies keep well for 3-4 days at room temperature.