Oatmeal Cranberry Cookie Dough Granola Bars {Gluten-Free}

As a child, I never ate cookie dough, or licked cake batter from the mixing bowl.  Mostly due to the fact that I grew up in an Asian family that did not bake - we used our oven for storage.  Even when I started baking on my own as a teenager, I did not think to eat cookie dough.  Why would I? It was raw.  We did not eat uncooked or unbaked food, it was just an unsaid rule. So, whenever I saw television shows or commercials with kids asking their moms to lick the leftover batter or dough off a spatula, it always baffled me.  Not to mention the cookie dough ice cream craze back in the day - I always wondered why so many people loved eating raw dough, which contained raw eggs that could make you sick.  

Ok, so I was a little sheltered.  In fact, it wasn't until last summer that I intentionally tried raw cookie dough.  It was an egg-free dough and I said to myself, what's the harm?  The harm was that I could not get enough of it! How can butter and brown sugar not be good? How I learned the error of my ways... 
[Image from Amazon.com]
Now that Lindsay Landis has conjured up an entire cookbook of egg-free cookie dough recipes, there is no reason not to eat raw cookie dough! From cookie dough truffles to cheesecakes, to cookie dough ice pops, there's something for every Cookie Dough Lover.  

I decided to make a gluten-free version of Lindsay's cookie dough granola bar since I still feel funny eating raw flour (old dog learning new tricks, here). I adapted the recipe using almond flour.  Also, the original recipe is for oatmeal raisin cookie dough - instead of raisins, I used orange-flavored dried cranberries that I had on hand.   Even with the minor substitutions, this is still one decadent granola bar - I could have gobbled up the granola and the cookie dough mixtures all on their own! 

Get the original recipe plus over 50 more fun cookie dough recipes at your local bookstore on June 5th! Learn more about Lindsay Landis and the Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook here.  

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookie Dough Granola Bars {Gluten-Free}

Yield: 10-12 bars


For granola:
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free)
⅔ cup mixed nuts (I used walnuts & almonds), coarsely chopped
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
⅓ cup honey

For cookie dough:
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free)
¾ cup almond flour or almond meal
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup ground cinnamon 
½ cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8x8-inch square pan with two sheets parchment paper, leaving 1-inch overhang on all sides.  

For granola:
Pour oats and nuts on a large rimmed baking sheet, stir together and spread evenly.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, stirring once half-way through baking until toasted and lightly browned.  Let cool for 5 minutes and then pour into medium mixing bowl.  

In a small saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar, and honey to a boil over medium heat.  Stir occasionally, and cook until butter and sugar have melted.  Pour over granola and mix until fully combined.  Stir periodically to allow mixture to cool.  

For cookie dough: 
In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla and milk until creamy and combined.  Stir in oats, almond flour, salt and cinnamon and mix until dough comes together in large, dry crumbles. Stir in dried cranberries.

To assemble: 
Press half of granola evenly into prepared pan.  Spread half of cookie dough evenly onto granola layer.  Repeat with remaining granola and cookie dough, making sure layers are spread evenly and firmly.  

Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.  Remove pan from refrigerator and let sit for 5 minutes.  Then lift entire block out of pan using parchment paper and slice into bars.  Store in airtight container layered between parchment paper for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Source: Adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook by Lindsay Landis

Disclosure: I received a free preview copy of the Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook courtesy of the publisher, Quirkbooks.  I was not obligated or compensated to write this post.