Overnight Oat Bake with Cherries and Almonds
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Portable and calorically dense, the energy bar is an essential pick-me-up for hikers and other outdoor adventurers. Emma Zimmerman, cookbook author and cofounder of Hayden Flour Mills in Queen Creek, Arizona, often takes her homemade version on backpacking trips in the saguaro-spiked Superstition Mountains. It’s filled with heart-healthy oatmeal and vitamin- and mineral-rich fruits and nuts. And unlike many store-bought bars, it feels like a soft brownie.—Rachel Ng
Adapted from The Miller’s Daughter, by Emma Zimmerman (Hardie Grant, 2022)
- 2½ cups cracked or rolled oats
- 13½ fluid ounces canned coconut milk
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- 10 oz. pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
- 2 oz. slivered almonds
- 1 Tbsp. flaxseeds (optional)
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
1. Grease an eight-inch-square baking tin. Place all ingredients except the cherries and almonds in a bowl and mix. Pour the mixture into the tin, smooth the surface, then cover. Refrigerate overnight.
2. In the morning, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Top the mixture with the cherries and almonds, then bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the edges start to brown and the middle sets. Go a little longer for firm bars and a little shorter for a more pudding-like consistency. Remove from the oven and cut into bars.