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Hazelnut Cookie Bars

This is one of those recipes you need when you want cookies but don't want to hassle with the process of making sheet after sheet of cookies. Hazelnut bars mix up in about 10 minutes and bake in about 25 minutes. So, if you have the oven on for something else (or even if you don't), the bars make a great, easy dessert. The bars have the wonderful flavor of toasted hazelnuts, a touch of cinnamon, and, of course, chocolate. The saturated fat in the bars is kept in check by using canola oil, and the bars aren't overly sweet. The bars will be soft when you pull them from the oven but will crisp up on standing, so don't bake them too long and cut them into squares before they cool.

Hazelnut Cookie Bars

Hazelnut Cookie Bars -- Makes a 9 x 13-inch pan

1/3 cup of canola oil

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/3 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon of hazelnut extract/flavoring

1 egg

2 tablespoons of light sour cream

1/2 cup of white whole-wheat flour

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips

1 cup of roasted hazelnuts, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray or line the pan with aluminum foil and coat the foil with spray. In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugars, vanilla, hazelnut extract, egg, and sour cream until well mixed. Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir until no white streaks remain. Fold in the chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of the hazelnuts. Dollop the batter into the prepared pan and, using a spatula (if you moisten the spatula with water it will be easier) spread the batter out to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining hazelnuts evenly over the batter. Bake the batter for about 25 minutes or until just light brown. Using a sharp knife, cut bars, but leave them in the pan until they cool.

Low Fat Hazelnut Cookie Bars

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