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)
- Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 8×8 pan. (Or you could line with parchment paper.)
- In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- 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.
- Slowly add the sifted flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in oatmeal.
- Gently spread 2/3 crust into bottom of prepared pan. Reserve the rest for topping.
- 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).
- 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!)
- 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.
- Cool in pan on a cooling rack until set before cutting. Can chill to help set the bars faster. Keep stored in airtight container.