Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chocolate Oatmeal bars

     I think this is the last dessert post before the holidays. These are great sweets to have around to satisfy that chocolate craving; delicious chocolate, kind of healthy oatmeal.

     These are another of my friend Erin's favourites. These aren't the ones she raves about, that recipe belongs to Jen, a friend of mutual friends of ours, Llijah and Monica. Jen always brings amazing food to Llij's place for any occasion but I don't know her well enough to hit her up for recipes, yet. LOL These are my version and Erin assures me a perfectly acceptable substitute.

That's Llij and Monica, she is a brilliant young composer.

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
3 cups rolled oats                                                              
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda                                                  
1teaspoon salt
1 cup softened unsalted butter                                     
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs                                                                                   
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-14 oz can condensed milk                                          
1 ½ cups – 12oz semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter                                                        
½ cup toasted walnuts                                                     
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Oatmeal crust: Cream together 1 cup softened butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Continue mixing until combined.In a separate bowl, mix together rolled oats, flour baking soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture.Press 2/3 mixture into greased 9x13 pan.
Chocolate filling: In a double boiler, heat condensed milk, chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons butter, stirring until smooth. (Be careful not to overheat or the chocolate will “break” and you’ll end up with a lumpy oily mess.)Remove from heat and stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla and walnuts.
Spread the warm chocolate mix evenly over the oatmeal crust. Use the remaining oatmeal mix to “dot” the top of the chocolate, don’t even try to spread it on it won’t work.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

     As always, I omit the salt and reduce the sugar by 1/2 cup. Pecans, almonds or pistachios are substituted for the walnuts. I also use more chocolate, anywhere from 4-8 oz more. You can never really have too much. I don't use chips often, any 65-75% cocoa chocolate will do.

     I aways use a double boiler, again my microwave hates me, but melt the chocolate however you like.

     These freeze well so if you are trying to get your baking done ahead of time these are great. I have never had them last long enough to freeze, maybe you'll have more success. Good luck and enjoy.

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