These oatmeal, cashew, and fig bars from Sunset The Great Outdoors Cookbook ($16, originally $25) are the closest you'll get to cookies while still remaining in the energy-bar department. They can be whipped up in a flash, and they freeze really, really well. I loaded up a Ziploc bag full and kept them in the cooler on my last camping trip. They were way better than any packaged bar on the market. Once you've mastered the basic recipe, sub in other dried fruits, nuts, and nut butter. Next on my list: dried mango, Marcona almonds, and roasted almond butter.

Cashew Go-Bars

Cashew Go-Bars


I ended up cutting the bars in half to make them more snack-sized. The recipe will make 16 larger rectangular bars or 32 smaller square bars.


  1. Cooking-oil spray
  2. 1 cup regular rolled oats
  3. 1/3 cup oat bran
  4. 3 tablespoons flaxseed
  5. 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 cup roasted salted cashews, chopped
  9. 1 cup dried mission figs, chopped
  10. 3/4 cup cashew butter
  11. 1/4 cup milk
  12. 1 large egg
  13. 1/2 cup honey
  14. Zest of 1 lemon
  15. 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Line a 9- by 13-inch pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on the 9-inch sides, and coat with cooking-oil spray. In a large bowl, stir together oats, oat bran, flaxseed, flour, baking powder, salt, cashews, and figs until well blended.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together peanut butter, milk, egg, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice until well blended.
  3. Add flour mixture to cashew butter mixture, and beat until completely blended. Scrape dough into pan, and with wet fingers or a rubber spatula, pat to fill pan completely and evenly (dough is sticky, so you may need to coat your hands in cooking-oil spray). Chill dough until firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300°F. Invert pan onto a work surface, lift off pan, and peel off plastic. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut straight down lengthwise through the middle, then crosswise to make 16 bars, each 1 1/2-inch wide. Place bars about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake bars until lightly browned and somewhat firm to touch, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool completely. Bars will keep up to 2 weeks, stored airtight, or 2 months, frozen.
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