Fudgy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I love oatmeal cookies. Add chocolate chips? Even better.

Make them as easy cookies bars with a layer of fudge in the middle? Better yet.

Fudgy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - Chewy bars with a thick layer of fudge in the middle! Whoa, hello chocolate overload!!

It’s been 10 months since I posted an oatmeal cookie recipe. Where does time go? Wow. It was the Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies which turned out to be a personal and Pinterest favorite.

After 10 months of being oatmeal cookie-less, I was more than overdue.

Fudgy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - Chewy bars with a thick layer of fudge in the middle! Whoa, hello chocolate overload!!

I made bars rather than cookies because they’re faster, easier, and less fussy. Labor Day isn’t about laboring.

The bars are soft, chewy, and chock-full of texture. They’re hearty and packed with oats but aren’t overly crumbly or dry. I love oatmeal cookies that have as many oats packed in as possible, but often that means they lose softness and moistness, which isn’t the case with the bars.

Fudgy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - Chewy bars with a thick layer of fudge in the middle! Whoa, hello chocolate overload!!

I tweaked my trusty no-mixer, easy blondie base by adding old-fashioned whole-rolled oats. Don’t use instant or quick cook because they’re finer and behave more like flour, which would make the bars dry and crumbly.

The fudgy layer is made with melted chocolate chips and a half can of sweetened condensed milk. Make 7-Minute Microwave CaramelsPeanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars, or Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars with the other half can.

Fudgy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - Chewy bars with a thick layer of fudge in the middle! Whoa, hello chocolate overload!!

After the bars came out of the oven, I sprinkled them with chocolate chips. Between the fudgy layer and the chips on top, the bars tamed my chocolate cravings. It’s smooth, rich, and a perfect contrast to the oats.

I promptly donated most of the pan to my neighbors. So much chocolate and way too good to keep around.

Fudgy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - Chewy bars with a thick layer of fudge in the middle! Whoa, hello chocolate overload!!

Print Recipe

Fudgy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

The bars are soft, chewy, and chock-full of texture. They’re hearty and packed with oats but aren’t overly crumbly or dry. I tweaked my trusty no-mixer, easy blondie base by adding old-fashioned whole-rolled oats. Don’t use instant or quick cook because they’re finer and behave more like flour. The fudgy layer is made with melted chocolate chips and a half can of sweetened condensed milk (see links above in post for recipes that use the other half can). Between the fudgy layer and the chocolate chips on top, the bars will tame your chocolate cravings. It’s smooth, rich, and a perfect contrast to the oats.

Yield: one 8x8 pan, 9 to 12 generous squares

Prep Time: 10 mintues

Cook Time: about 25 minutes

Total Time: about 90+ minutes, for cooking

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 large egg

1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned whole-rolled oats (not quick cook or instant)
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, for batter
half of one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (just eyeball it)
about 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the oats, flour, and stir until just combined, don't overmix.
  5. Turn three-quarters of the batter out into prepared pan, smoothing it with a spatula to form a crust; reserve remainder and set aside.
  6. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add 1 cup chocolate chips, pour sweetened condensed milk over the top, and heat on high power until the chips melt and mixture can be stirred smooth, about 45 to 60 seconds.
  7. Evenly pour chocolate mixture over crust, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Work somewhat quickly because mixture begins to set up after a couple minutes.
  8. Evenly crumble the reserved oatmeal mixture over the chocolate layer. I find it easiest to make heaping 1-tablespoon-sized 'blobs', and after all the blobs are in the pan, smoosh and smooth them together with a spatula. The entire surface will not be covered and there will be some gaps.
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until top is set; it should be very pale in color for soft bars; golden colored means bars will be crunchier.
  10. Evenly sprinkle bars with about 1/3 cup chocolate chips, or as desired. Chips will soften and melt slightly. Avoid jostling the pan because it will cause chips to melt more rather than stay intact. Set pan aside and allow bars to cool in pan for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – The thickest oatmeal cookies I’ve ever had, and are packed with density, chewiness, texture. There’s an abundance of raisins and they’re soft without being cakey in the least

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97 comments

  1. o my gosh this is loooking awesome lovely fudge oatmeal choc chip cookie dear lovely place.. dear~ You have so many wonderful chocolate collection

  2. Can I be your neighbor?? I mean, if you just give away large amounts of chocolate-laden goodies… And I’m a chocoholic… It’d be a match made in heaven! (Just don’t tell my skinny jeans or running shoes. They might not be too thrilled.)

  3. I am completely floored with these bars. So good!!!!!

  4. Have you tried doubling the recipe & baking in a 9x13pan? Just wondering if it makes a difference.
    Thanks!

  5. I wish I had added a 1/2 tsp of salt to these. The cookie part ended up a bit bland and I think that would have helped.

    • There is optional salt to be added to the crust and definitely add salt to taste if you prefer it. People’s palates and preferences vary widely with salt, so I always leave that up to a person’s taste. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  6. Just made these, and they are delicious!! I’m a week away from my due date and am cooking/baking up a storm right now. I saved half and put the other half in the freezer :) These were so easy to make and really yummy. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • You’re amazing to be baking right before your due date! My daughter came 2w early so all that ‘baking and freezer meal’ stuff I thought I was going to do…well, that never happened. I was lucky I had the onesies pre-washed :) Anyway glad these were a hit and that you froze half! Smart thinking! Congrats on your baby!

  7. these are awesome i literally cannot stop eating them! i couldnt wait long enough for the chocolate to set so it got a little smudged ;)

  8. Hi there! I saw above that you think doubling the recipe into a 13 x 9 would work. Any thoughts on baking time? I’m sure it’s hard to say if you’ve never done it yourself, but even an estimate or range would be awesome if you are willing to share. I’ve made so many of your recipes and they are always great, so I’m sure these will be no exception.

    • I would say a few minutes more, maybe not. I would just start checking a few minutes before they’re supposed to be done and then keep your eye on them and take them out when they look done. Enjoy!

      And thanks for the praise and compliments and glad my recipes have always turned out great for you! :)

  9. This recipe is excellent! I made it for New Year’s Eve for my family, and everyone loved it! Enjoy the new year, and thanks so much for all of the great recipes :)

  10. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I just made them last night – it sure was a quick thing to do.
    By today I have adapted your recipe to German and set it on my blog. http://www.sabotagebuch.de/wordpress/2015/02/26/schokoladige-haferflocken-keks-schnitten/

    :) Thx again,
    Sandra

  11. These look delicious!!!! I know it says no quick oaks, but I’m stuck inside and that’s all I have. What would happen if I used them?

    • Probably the batter will be too dry because quick oats are finer and more like flour than like whole oats. I would use less if that’s what you end up doing but of course, can’t promise results as I haven’t tried the recipe this way.

  12. I have not yet made the  fudgie oatmeal bars, could still happen today. In reading through  the instructions I just had to tell you how much I appreciate your down to earth directions. I don’t want to read about how ideally they should turn out, I want to read how you plop the dough on the top by spoonfuls and then spread it as best you can and that it will not cover entirely for example. Kudos

  13. Every single time I come to your site I end up clicking on a dozen recipe links. Then I want everything! I guess it’s good for your page views, though!

  14. I brought a double batch of Fudgy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars to a party and everyone ate them before dinner was served. Everyone asked for the recipe and it was the best dessert by far! Thank You!!!

  15. Is there a reason to use old fashion oats and not the instant oats?

  16. So, I made these and…Wow!  Super easy.  I love that you don’t have to get the mixer out.  Worked fine in a 9 inch square pan too.  Dare I add a few pecans next time?  I think so!  Thanks so much for such a great recipe!

  17. Whats the reason you use aluminum foil instead of baking foil/paper?

    Thanks in advance for your answer!

    • I don’t know what baking foil is but aluminum foil allows me to press it into corners better than parchment paper does and I like the overall results better and I can lift it out of the pan easily to make clean cuts for photography and less cleanup than without lining pan.

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