Healthy-Ish: Chocolate-Butterscotch Whole Grain Cookie Bars

Some cookies are definitely dessert.

And then there are others which reside under a mask of health. This mask may or may not be reality. This "healthy-ish cookie" can readily be sighted at establishments such as Whole Foods, health food stores, cafes outside of yoga studios, and places that smell of patchouli. These cookies typically include whole grains and/or wholesome ingredients, but at their very beating heart, they are a tasty dessert item. I'll show you a few examples of ones I've know and loved in the past:

Oatsies (click for recipe)"Power cookie" by Capers, at Whole FoodsVegan Oat Bar, Caffe Ladro, Seattle

So when I found myself with half a bag of Bob's Red Mill Hot Cereal, I was all, "I'm going to invent a healthy-ish bar cookie". I started with the basic idea of a Nanaimo bar crust type texture, but it's very different because it's made mostly with a whole grain cereal mix. 

Let me tell you, I came up with a recipe for sweet (and somewhat healthy) success.

They are tasty little things. They taste somewhat healthy, but the richness from the butter, and the sweetness from the melange of vanilla, chocolate, and butterscotch, lends them a distinctly dessert-like feel.

They still feel like they might be breakfast-appropriate...but, you know, it would be a GOOD breakfast. 

Healthy-ish bar cookies

Here's how you make 'em.

Chocolate-Butterscotch Whole Grain Bars

Makes one 8 or 9-inch square pan's worth (how many? Depends on how big you cut them!)

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill hot cereal (I used this kind)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate morsels or coarsely chopped chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch morsels


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar. Once it's melted and combined, remove from heat, and add the vanilla and the egg. Stir vigorously so that the egg doesn't cook or leave scrambly bits in your mixture. Once it starts to thicken (right around the time the egg is thoroughly mixed in), add the cereal mix and flour and salt, stirring until thoroughly moistened. 
  3. Add the chocolate and butterscotch morsels. If you wanted, you could add some nuts or any other mix-ins you like at this point.
  4. Healthy-ish bar cookies
  5. Press the mixture into a greased 8 or 9-inch square pan. 
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and slightly dull on top. Remove from oven, and let cool slightly before cutting into pieces as large or small as you like. 
  7. Enjoy! Healthy-ish bar cookies