With everything that’s going on in the world at the moment, let’s talk about something a bit more on the lighter side of things. Like what happens when you stuff a rich and fudgy chocolate filling inside soft and tender oatmeal cookie bars. Here’s a hint… you’ll want more.
On the west coast of Canada, Starbucks stocks these pastries called Oat Fudge Bars that are out of this world. In the US the closest we’ve seen is something called a Michigan Cherry Oat Bar, but let us be the first to tell you (in a completely unbiased way of course!) that the oat bars with fudge are better.
Today’s bars get their uniquely fudgy center by melting sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and butter together to produce a smooth velvety fudge that is so simple to make! It then gets sandwiched between two layers of thick and chewy oatmeal cookie. We used 60% Ghiradelli chocolate chips for our fudge but regular chocolate chips would work just as well!
The oatmeal cookie base is very similar to your standard oatmeal cookie recipe, and gets made much the same way. First you start off by creaming together butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla, dry ingredients, and finally the oats. Quick cooking oats are a must for this recipe. Leave your old-fashioned oats for your oatmeal cookies!
The unique thing about these bars is that you don’t completely encase the fudge layer in an oatmeal cookie crust. Instead, you dot the second layer of oatmeal mixture over top of the fudge so that the fudge can peak out and let itself be seen in all its fudgy glory. Believe us, fudge tastes different when it gets to be in the spotlight!
The fudge layer is thck too guys, which is totally satisfying. The oatmeal cookie layer is not too sweet at all though so you’re not overwhelmed with a double-dose of sweetness.
These bars would make the BEST after-school snack and make you a hero to your kids. Or, if you’ve had a long day at university or work these bars would be the perfect pick me up with your afternoon cup of coffee. They’re sure to be a hit whenever you eat them!
Fudgy Oatmeal Bars
1 cup (226 g) salted butter, softened
2 cups (224 g) light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract, divided
3 cups ( 240 g) quick cooking oats
2 1/2 cups (313 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (315 g) chocolate chips
3 tablespoons (42 g) salted butter
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, beat together 1 cup butter with the brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in the ggs and 1 tablespoon of vanilla.
- In another bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture and then set aside.
- In a small pot, heat the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla.
- Pat 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the preparen pan. Spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the top, and dot with the remaining oat mixture.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is starting to look slightly golden brown. Cool on a wire rack, then cut into bars. Enjoy!
Inspired by a recipe found in Just Desserts, a compliation cookbook from KCTS 9 Cooks (2013).