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Butterscotch Pumpkin Granola Bars

This recipe is TOO GOOD not to make. Seriously, if you like the Nature Valley Oat n’ Honey bars, you will fall in love at first bite with these homemade creations that are pretty easy and muy delicioso. The recipe originally came from Heatherchristo.com, which I found on Pinterest.

My mom and I made these bars together for our awesome (and painful) 10 mile hike on Friday. Trail mix always seems like the perfect go-to fuel for long hikes, and these bars are like bringing all the trail mix flavors together for an on-the-go snack. The flavors were fantastic for fall, and the butterscotch is really powerful and sweet! Good combo of nuts, seeds, sweet and salty going on here :)

You will need a large bowl and the following:

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 (heaping) tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup of pepitas (or sunflower seeds)
  • 1 (11 oz) bag of butterscotch chips (chocolate or white chocolate would be just fine!)
  • Optional: shredded coconut, dried cranberries, cherries, or pineapple

1. First, in a LARGE bowl, combine oats, oil, pumpkin, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon and salt.

2. Throw the pepitas and almonds in to the mix.

3. Add in butterscotch chips and any additional fillings.

4. Line a 9 x 13″ baking sheet with parchment paper; evenly spread the granola mixture onto the parchment paper and use a spatula to flatten it as much as possible.

Best with a warm cup of coffee!

5. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and use spatula again to press down and flatten the sheet of granola. Place back in the oven for an additional 20 minutes.

6. Let cool completely!

7. Slice into bars; make approximately 24.

These bars do go soft after storing in a container or plastic bags, so they are best wrapped individually before storing in an air-tight container.

The oat texture, the bites of almonds and pepitas, the sweet butterscotch chips – it’s ridiculously good. So good that I’ve had two a day since Friday. With coffee of course.

How good would these be just broken up in a bowl with milk, eaten with a spoon? Mmm I think I just found my next breakfast for when I return home over winter break ;)

Don’t forget to pin these here:

Pumpkin Whip Dip!

My roommate thinks I have a pumpkin obsession. Every time I come back from Target, I have a new can of pumpkin. I’ve made pumpkin cookies, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin spice creamer, and now pumpkin pie dip!

Last night, the ladies of Aspen Residence Hall had a ‘Girl’s Night In’ complete with chick flicks, nail polish, games, music, pajamas and snacks. Even though it was after dinner, I wanted to bring something healthy and light instead of dessert. So I made a Pumpkin Whip Dip with fruit dippers and it was a hit!

Pumpkin Whip Dip

1 1/4 Cups Tbs Lite Cool Whip (half of a container)

½ Can of Pumpkin

1  (6 oz.) Non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt

1 heaping Tbs cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp All-spice

Combine all of the ingredients, stir together and store in the freezer. It will get nice and solid!

Cut whatever fruit slices you like (I used Gala apples and De Ajou pears) into long strips for dipping. You could also use graham crackers or ginger snaps for an extra sweet treat ;)

It was the perfect balance next to the cookies and cupcakes!

After some ultra competitive but hilarious games, the feature presentation was What a Girl Wants. And naturally, we painted our nails Glow in the Dark…..

By keeping away from the dessert table and sticking to a healthy snack, I felt great at this morning’s workout! I hit the gym with a fellow cross country teammate to feel the burn with some weight training. Let the fun of a Girl’s Night be in the company you are with, not the junk food you mindlessly eat.

Pin this here!

Pumpkin Hazelnut Cookies

It seems like every year, pumpkin recipes become more and more popular. With websites like Pinterest and the growing number of food bloggers, we are flooded with more pumpkin-y creations than ever. I am just as pumpkin-obsessed as the next, and have already enjoyed my fair share of pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice oatmeal, and pumpkin-stuffed raviolis. However my FAVORITE pumpkin treat is soft and fluffy pumpkin cookies.


Fortunately for me, my friend Chelsea is just as much a fan and we planned an afternoon of baking in her adorable townhome. We started with an easy Cake Mix Cookie recipe from Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers and altered it a little. To show you how unbelievably easy this really is, the ingredients are as follows:

1 box of cake mix

1 (15oz) can of pumpkin

Whatever mix-ins you want

So the original recipe called for Spice Cake. But our Target had the smallest cake selection ever so we were given the choices of chocolate, vanilla or carrot. Carrot is close enough, right? I mean it’s got orange flecks in it….

The carrot ended up being a GREAT call because it has the cinnamony spices and color in it plus orange carrot pieces that we can pretend are pumpkin ;) Chelsea and I made a batch of milk chocolate chip pumpkin cookies first.

After they came out so well, I made a second batch with Hazelnuts and White Chocolate Chips to bring to the Ping Pong Party. I kind of learned from the first batch:

A.) The shape/form you put the dough on the pan, is the shape they will come out. They do not expand/rise/flatten. They still look pretty “doughy”

B.) For the second batch I opted to use about 80% of the can of pumpkin instead of the whole thing. They were less doughy and it worked out much better :)

C.) They are to be enjoyed with a Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

  • Preheat oven to 350 and grease a baking sheet.
  • Combine cake mix and roughly 12 oz of pumpkin in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add in chocolate chips, nuts, extra cinnamon, craisons or whatever your heart desires.
  • Scoop cookie dough as roundly on to pan as possible, because they will keep this same shape.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes

This makes approximately 36 mini cookies, 66 calories and 2g fat each.

The pumpkin cookies with white chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts were a hit and the plate was empty before the party ended. They are seriously so easy to make, you could literally go to the store, buy the ingredients, make the dough, pop them in the over and be eating them within an hour.

I have a feeling these wouldn’t be bad with a chocolate cake mix…. if anyone tries it, let me know!

Pin this recipe here.

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