I have a lot of thoughts, ideas, and general wonderings floating around my head these days that, sometimes, when I come here to share a recipe and a story all the thoughts bottleneck somewhere between my mind and my hands on the keyboard. When words can’t make it to the page I want to stamp my feet and crumple up the page, but I can’t because it’s not actually paper and I can’t crumple up my computer screen. So, I eat something sweet instead and wait for the bottleneck to clear and start again.
And these days the something I reach for are salty-sweet oatmeal bites, otherwise known as little round wholesome bites adorned with dark chocolate. Since making them I’ve discovered their powers cure more than writer’s block. They’re handy for all sorts of occasions like when mid-morning hangriness rears it’s ugly head, or for a late afternoon is-this-day-ever-going to-end slump, or a late-night sugar craving. And, as your faithful tester, I can attest they work in all these situations. They’re a bite-sized pick-me-up that knows no boundaries.
I’ve seen a lot of things called “energy bites” floating around the internet and my version is sort of like those except with simple ingredients. No chia seeds, or flaxseed, or coconut oil, or whatever else is trending in the super food world these days. I looked to the past for my inspiration and reached back to a time when a batch of no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies in the fridge was like winning the after-school snack lottery. Remember those? My salty sweet oatmeal bites, made with oatmeal, pretzels, coconut, and peanut butter, are a tip of the hat to those classic no-bake cookies.
(Side note: It just so happens that I wrote a post about those childhood favorites, but, man oh man, that post is old. It has black & white photos (?!) and, for some reason, I didn’t write out the recipe (??!!) ).
Salty Sweet Oatmeal Bites
These oatmeal bites are addictive and you might find all sorts of reasons to pass by the fridge throughout the day just so you can reach in and grab one of them. For that reason, you may want to freeze half of them so they don’t all disappear the first day.
- Yield: approximately 24 balls
- 1 ½ cups oatmeal
- 10-12 large pretzel rods
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Pulse the oatmeal in a food processor a few times to break down the oats. If you don’t have a food processor, place them in a resealable bag and pound them with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Transfer to a large bowl.
- First, a note about the pretzels. I used large pretzel rods, but if you have a bag of regular small pretzels you need enough for 1 cup of pretzel crumbs. If using the rods, break them in half and place them in the food processor. Pulse them until they look like dried bread crumbs (again, if no food processor use the bag method). It’s okay if there are some larger chunks. Transfer to the bowl with the oatmeal.
- Add the coconut to the oatmeal and pretzels and stir. Add the vegetable oil and stir until combined. Add the peanut butter, 1/4 cup at a time, and mix until combined. Continue adding the peanut butter in batches (adding in small batches makes it easier to stir it into the dry ingredients).
- To form the balls: rub your hands with a little vegetable oil (this keeps the mixture from sticking to your hands as you make the balls). Scoop a couple tablespoons of the mixture and, using your hands, form it into a ball giving it a small squeeze to ensure it all sticks together. Place the ball on a baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the mixture. Place the balls in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
- Melt the chopped chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments stirring each time until smooth. Dunk the oatmeal bites in the melted chocolate or drizzle each with the chocolate (or both!). Place the balls back in the freezer until the chocolate has set.
- Keep the oatmeal bites in the refrigerator and enjoy.
More Sweet Treats