Friday, February 17, 2012

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

These oatmeal fudge bars definitely appealed to me right from the start - oats, butter, chocolate...what's not to love? 

And they definitely lived up to expectations! They make a delicious oatmeal crust with a nice thick chocolate layer in the middle. I opted for dark chocolate for the fudge center.  I think this really helped to make this rich but without being overly sweet.  Of course, if you don't like dark chocolate, feel free to use semi-sweet.  I also topped mine with sliced almonds to add a little extra flavor and crunch (and I love the combination of almonds and chocolate!).  One thing I might try in the future is to add a little sea salt on top to give this a sweet-salty combination.

Perhaps not surprising given my love for coffee, but I think these were especially delicious with a cup of coffee or a cappuccino!

Oatmeal Fudge Bars
Taken from: Erin's Food Files
Makes 16-20 squares (the recipe could be easily doubled and made in a 9x13 baking pan)
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used mostly 72% dark chocolate chunks and the rest semi-sweet)
  • 1/2 of a 15 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk (I don't measure -- I just eyeball this)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4-1/2 cup nuts such as walnuts or pecans (optional, I used sliced almonds)
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 8×8 pan. (Or you could line with parchment paper.)
  2. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl, beat together softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until combined. Add vanilla and mix well.
  4. Slowly add the sifted flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in oatmeal.
  5. Gently spread 2/3 crust into bottom of prepared pan. Reserve the rest for topping.
  6. Make the filling:  In a sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt together chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons butter, and salt. Stir until smooth. Remove mixture from heat and stir in vanilla and if using, nuts (I did not add the sliced almonds here -- I kept them until the end).
  7. Evenly pour filling mixture onto crust but keeping filling about a 1/4 inch away from side of pan so it does not stick to side while baking.  Evenly dollup top of filling with remaining oat mixture. (At this point, I sprinkled sliced almonds over the top of the filling.  A light sprinkling of sea salt might also be delicious if you like sweet/salty treats!)
  8. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until topping is light brown and fudge layer set but not solid. Don’t overbake these bars or they can become dry.
  9. Cool in pan on a cooling rack until set before cutting. Can chill to help set the bars faster. Keep stored in airtight container.


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