Pick-A-Flavor Bar Cookies

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Cool weather always gives me the baking itch. I love the way the oven warms the house and fills it with the scent of deliciousness!  We don’t eat a lot of treat food, but when we do, I try to make it from scratch.  Homemade baked goods are always more “Worth It” than store bought, and I feel like even if it’s not health food, at least I know the ingredients are natural and minimally processed.  I might even sneak some flaxseed or whole grain flours in there….

The recipe calls for a box of cake mix, but it’s pretty easy to find mixes with non-scary chemicals if you look in the natural food aisle, or at a specialty grocery store like Trader Joe’s.

These cookies have the best texture ever — so chewy, gooey, and delicious!  They remind me of the giant cookies I would get at Chocolate World when I was a kid.  The key is waiting until the pan is cool to cut and eat them; this is one of the few baked goods that is NOT the best straight from the oven. (Though that didn’t stop me today…)

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Pick-A-Flavor Bar Cookies

1 18oz box of cake mix (Today, I used a box of TJ’s pumpkin bread mix, which was 17 oz.  It still turned out fine)

1 T of ground flaxseed, mixed with 3 T of warm water and set aside for 5 minutes to gel

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4-1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup mix-ins (candy, nuts, etc) of choice

Once flaxseed has gelled, mix the cake mix, the oil, and the flax gel together in a stand mixer.  Gradually add 1/4 cup of milk to help the mixture come together.  You want the batter to be really thick and sticky, so don’t add more milk than you need!   Mix in candy or nuts.  Press into a greased 8×8 pan and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

Some combos I’ve tried and loved:

Pumpkin Bread mix with chocolate chips

Spice cake mix with walnuts and raisins

Golden cake mix with mini peanut butter cups

Chocolate cake mix with crumbled peppermint bark

Your imagination is the limit!

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