fudgy oatmeal bars

these fudgy oatmeal bars are a throwback to a different time. when i make these, i imagine that they would be something my grandmother would have enjoyed as a small girl as a very special treat. the oatmeal adds a wholesomeness, the chocolate a sweetness that when combined make for a rich, filling, chewy bar. cut them small because they’re way too rich to eat ‘by the slab’.

fudgy oatmeal bars
oat crust
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup light brown sugar, well packed
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted, then cooled

chocolate filling
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, well packed
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg

to make the crust:
1. melt your butter and let it cool.
2. preheat oven to 325 degrees. either grease an 8×8 pan, or (my preference) line the pan with a foil sling and grease well.
3. in a large bowl, whisk the oats, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together until well-combined.
4. stir in the cooled, melted butter until well-combined.
5. reserve about 1 cup lightly packed crust mix for the topping.
6. press remaining crust ingredients into the pan, pressing it evenly with fingertips and your pie tamper.
7. bake the crust for about 10 minutes, until crust is a light golden brown.
8. remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely.

to make the chocolate filling:
9. whisk the flour, sugar, instant espresso powder and salt together until well-combined.
10. in a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and the butter together in your microwave. (1 – 2 1/2 minutes in the microwave, stirring often.) let cool for about five minutes.
11. add the egg into the chocolate mixture until well-combined.
12. add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture until just incorporated. do not overmix.
13. spread the chocolate mixture over the baked crust, being sure it’s evenly distributed over the entire crust surface. sprinkle the reserved crust over the chocolate filling to cover top.
14. bake 30 minutes, until edges begin to pull away from the side of the pan. a toothpick inserted into the center will come out with some loose crumbs.
15. remove from oven and place pan on wire rack for cooling. do not attempt to remove foil sling until the pan has completely cooled. at that time, pull foil sling out of pan, and gently cut into bars.
yield:16-20 bars.

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