Oatmeal Candy Bars

We all have favorite dishes to make. I love cookies and bars. Whether it’s brownies, blondies, or oatmeal bars like the America’s Test Kitchen version or this one below…I’m happy making all of them. For cookies, there are so many variations as well. When I came across this recipe in my Dorie Greenspan cookbook, I realized it was similar to the other oatmeal bars I had made, but it was slightly different because it’s less chewy and more crunchy. Sometimes I want chewy bars, but this one is great for portion control. If you take a hunk of it, it takes you a while to eat it and by the end you (might) not want anymore. Maybe. Sort of.

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You can mix up what you throw in, like I did. I liked picking what crunchiness I wanted to add. You could probably throw in pretzels, chopped hazelnuts, or throw in a bit of crunchy peanut butter if it floats your boat. For my mix, I used cacao nibs (not candied), cornflake crunch, cashews, and peanuts.

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Directions for Oatmeal Candy Bars

Slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking

Oatmeal Layers

  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 14 Tablespoons butter, room temperature (2 sticks, minus 2 Tablespoons–save for the chocolate layer)
  • 2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped (I used 3/4 cup peanut/cashew mix and 1/4 cup cacao nibs)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. With a mixer, beat the butter on medium until creamy.

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Add the brown sugar and beat for a couple minutes, then add the eggs one at a time. Beat each egg well before adding the next egg. Add the vanilla. It should be light and fluffy at this point.

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On low speed, add the dry ingredients.

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Stir in the oats and nuts.

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Reserve about 2 cups of the mixture. Spread the rest of it into the baking pan, creating an even layer over the bottom.

Chocolate Layer

  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • About 2 cups mix-ins (I used the same nut mixture as before along with other crunchy add-ins, including a Momofuku Milk Bar cornflake crunch; you can also add raisins)

In a double boiler, or in a saucepan, melt together the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, butter, and salt.

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Stir in the vanilla and mix-ins.

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Pour the warm chocolate over the oatmeal layer.

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Scatter the rest of the oatmeal mixture on top.

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Bake for about 25 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the edges start to come away from the sides of the pan.

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Let it cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. The original directions say to flip the entire thing out, then refrigerate it for an hour before cutting it. I found that I could cut it in the pan without flipping it out first.

Flipping over...not necessary, but cool to see the oatmeal layer.

Flipping over…not necessary, but it’s cool to see the oatmeal layer.

Directions for Oatmeal Candy Bars (without pictures)

Slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking

Oatmeal Layers

  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 14 Tablespoons butter, room temperature (2 sticks, minus 2 Tablespoons–save for the chocolate layer)
  • 2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped (I used 3/4 cup peanut/cashew mix and 1/4 cup cacao nibs)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. With a mixer, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat for a couple minutes, then add the eggs one at a time. Beat each egg well before adding the next egg. Add the vanilla. It should be light and fluffy at this point. On low speed, add the dry ingredients. Stir in the oats and nuts. Reserve about 2 cups of the mixture. Spread the rest of it into the baking pan, creating an even layer over the bottom.

Chocolate Layer

  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • About 2 cups mix-ins (I used the same nut mixture as before along with other crunchy add-ins, including a Momofuku Milk Bar cornflake crunch; you can also add raisins)

In a double boiler, or in a saucepan, melt together the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, butter, and salt. Stir in the vanilla and mix-ins. Pour the warm chocolate over the oatmeal layer. Scatter the rest of the oatmeal mixture on top. Bake for about 25 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the edges start to come away from the sides of the pan. Let it cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. The original directions say to flip the entire thing out, then refrigerate it for an hour before cutting it. I found that I could cut it in the pan without flipping it out first.

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One thought on “Oatmeal Candy Bars

  1. Pingback: Brownies with an Oat Crust and Marshmallows | fudgingahead

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