Fudgy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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

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

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars Recipe 

I love oatmeal cookies. Add chocolate chips? Even better. Make them as easy cookie bars with a layer of fudge in the middle? Better yet.

The chocolate chip oatmeal cookie 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 Bars — Chewy oatmeal cookie 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. The fudgy layer is made with melted chocolate chips and half a can of sweetened condensed milk.

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!!

To make these oatmeal cookie bars with chocolate chips, you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Egg
  • Light brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Sweetened condensed milk

Recipes to Use Up Leftover 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 of sweetened condensed milk.

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

These chocolate chip oatmeal bar cookies couldn’t be any easier! Here are the basic instructions:

  1. Melt the butter, then whisk in the egg, brown sugar, and vanilla.
  2. Add the oats, flour, and salt, then turn 3/4 of the mixture into a greased 8×8-inch pan. 
  3. Melt the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk together. Once fully melted and smooth, pour over the oatmeal cookie crust. 
  4. Crumble the remaining oatmeal cookie dough over the chocolate layer, then pop the bars into the oven to bake.
  5. Once done, sprinkle with additional chocolate chips and let the bars cool for at least an hour before slicing. 

Love Salty-Sweet Desserts?

For more of a salty-sweet flavor, sprinkle with flaky sea salt once the oatmeal chocolate chip bars come out of the oven. 

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Instant Oats Instead of Old-Fashioned? 

No, don’t use instant or quick cook because they’re finer and behave more like flour, which would make the oatmeal chocolate chip bars dry and crumbly.

Can I Use Different Chocolate Chips? 

Yes, but I prefer using semi-sweet chocolate chips since the slightly bitter chocolate balances out the very sweet condensed milk.

Can I double the recipe?

I’m sure this oatmeal cookie bar recipe is fine to double. You’d need to bake the bars in a 9×13-inch pan, and I think the bake time would be roughly the same. 

Can Choc Chip Oatmeal Cookie Bars Be Frozen?

These chocolate chip oatmeal cookie bars freeze very well. You can freeze an entire pan or individual slices. To thaw, set on your counter to come to room temperature. 

Can I use the cookie dough to make regular oatmeal chocolate chip cookies?

If you want regular cookies, I recommend following my classic oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe instead. Those cookies truly are the best ever, and I know that recipe works as written.

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

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4.60 from 35 votes
By Averie Sunshine
Chewy oatmeal cookie bars with a thick layer of fudge in the middle! Whoa, hello chocolate overload!!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 9
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Ingredients  

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, 1 stick, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ 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

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  • Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the oats, flour, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
  • Turn three-quarters of the batter out into prepared pan, smoothing it with a spatula to form a crust; reserve remainder and set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Notes

  • Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 650kcal, Carbohydrates: 86g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 109mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 70g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been making these for years. They are ridiculously good. I generally double the recipe so I don’t have to worry about the other half of the can of milk, and I still think I could eat an entire pan of them on my own without even noticing.

    I have a bag of cinnamon chips and I’m going to try making them with those instead of chocolate chips. I think it will be awesome.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve been making these for years. They are ridiculously good. I generally double the recipe so I don’t have to worry about the other half of the can of milk, and I still think I could eat an entire pan of them on my own without even noticing.

    I have a bag of cinnamon chips and I’m going to try making them with those instead of chocolate chips. I think it will be awesome.

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad that you have been making these for years and generally double the recipe! I could eat an entire pan of these myself too :)

    1. 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.

  3. 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!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and glad it came out great for you! Glad it works in a 9×9 and pecans would be a lovely addition!

    1. Yes because the later would act more like flour, rendering the bars too dense. Make as written with old fashioned. Enjoy!

  4. 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!!!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you and that it was eaten even before dinner was served and everyone wanted the recipe, too!

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. 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?

    1. 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.

  8. 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 :)

  9. 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.

    1. 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! :)

  10. 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 ;)

  11. 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!

    1. 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!

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

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

    1. This recipe would be fine to double. I haven’t personally tried that but I’m fairly sure it will be okay. Enjoy!

  14. 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.)

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

  16. Those bars look so yummy & fudgy! Wow! Looks like the perfect combination of chocolate & oats to me.

  17. These look incredibly, like yum-o-Rama! Seriously chocolate and oatmeal call me totally sold on this recipe ;-)

  18. These look amazing Averie! Totally craving a bite of one right now.. they definitely are fudgy and delicious.

  19. Hi Averie,

    I made these bars today because a friend was coming over. I need a reason to bake otherwise I’ll bake everyday and that could be deadly! :D

    These were delish! I love the fudgy part and my hubby liked the oatmeal part. I’m gonna have a piece for breakfast tomorrow. Because there’s oatmeal and it and to me that sounds “healthy”. lol

    thx so much

    1. I agree about the ‘healthy’ part. I told a friend that I gave some too they were ‘breakfast bars’ because there were oats in them, after all :)

      Glad you guys enjoyed them!

  20. Hey Averie. I love your photography. My question is this: what do you do with all the baked goods? Do you and your family eat them? Do you freeze some? Share with neighbors and guests??

    1. I always eat at least one (or two) of everything I make…cookies, pieces of cake, squares of brownies, etc. Then from there, I donate it to friends, family, neighbors, and basically anyone who want it, I give it away. Every once in awhile, I deem something worthy enough to hoard but after 5.5 years of doing this fulltime and writing 2 cookbooks, I am INSANELY picky and get pickier with each passing year!

  21. I just made chocolate chip oatmeal bars a little while ago, and now I’m wishing I’d put a chocolate layer in the middle! That looks fudgy layer looks incredible. Pinned!

  22. Averie, I don’t know how you do it, not instantly scarfing down the entire pan. I love some oattmeal cookie withn my chocolate

    1. Thank you my awesome friend for always being a pinner and a sharer :) You know I’ve always got your back too!

  23. I love keeping a batch of these cold in the freezer and I am totally craving some now, so I’ll have to make them soon. Great share, Averie!

  24. Chocolate and oatmeal is one of my favorite combinations. The fact that they are in bar form makes me love it even more!

  25. Considering I just looked through every cupboard, fridge, and freezer on the hunt for chocolate, it seems needless to say I want one of these bars now! I adore everything from the oatmeal to the chocolate to the fudgy middle. Pinned!

  26. Normally I only like oats in oatmeal raisin cookies and I HATE them in chocolate chip cookies, but that layer of fudge has convinced me that oats might have a place in cookies.

    I’m sending this one to my mom!

  27. OMG! These look so amazing. I love a good chocolate chip recipe, and might have to make these soon. I am actually a teen blogger- I just posted about creme puffs. Check it out if you like! :)

  28. When people normally say “fudgy”, they’re referring to texture, which is pretty great, but ACTUAL fudge?! That’s seriously sweet. These bars look amazing and I would definitely not trust myself around them alone :)

  29. I love the idea of having fudge in the middle! It’s been awhile since I baked with condensed milk, and I may have to crack open a can soon to make these!

  30. Good Gravy! Now THAT is an oatmeal cookie personified! Geez, I hate it when I start having a cookie craving this early in the AM.

  31. Thanks for sharing this recipe.. Super easy and looks amazingly delicious! I read all your posts daily. Im a HUGE fan :) Keep well and happy baking xxx

  32. These look absolutely amazing! Layer upon layer of deliciousness!

    (Btw, can I request a tutorial sometime on how you get those perfect oooey goooey chocolate chip shots? You’re the pro!!)

    1. Thanks for the Bhg pin, too :)

      And Jaclyn says the same thing about me and chocolate chips. Well, I need a tutorial from you on how to get such CRISP clear shots! Always mind-blowing how perfectly white, not yellow/blue, and tack-sharp crisp they are!

  33. YES. 100x yes! These are absolutely perfect. They remind me of the caramel ones but with chocolate in the center (which is way better IMO!) Pinned, obvi.

    1. Thanks for pinning and I hadn’t thought about the Carmelitas comparison until I was dragging in the related recipes images. And I was like oh whoops, I already made these almost :) Thank god these have chocolate. Seriously feel like some days I need to check my OWN archives before I bake something. LOL

  34. Wow, that is some SERIOUS chocolate-y goodness. These looks fantastic. I’m tempted to toss in some walnuts here for crunch. I can’t wait to try these! Thank you for sharing!

  35. Oooh, I am dying to sink my teeth into that fudgey layer. These look absolutely fabulous, Averie!

  36. LOVE that fudgy center in oatmeal cookie bars! I love making bars instead of cookies because they are seriously so much easier!

  37. What a great combination, Averie! I don’t think I’ve seen oatmeal bars before. I love these! Chocolate chips and oatmeal are the perfect pair!

  38. Seriously dying over that thick layer of chocolate! These look UNREAL! And I love anything with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Pinned :) Hope you had a great labor day weekend!

  39. I’ve had some great fudge made with choc chips and SC milk–so having it with oats sounds like a dream bar. That fudgy center–I want to sink my teeth into it now (maybe the sugar fix could make me run better this am). I’ll probably be thinking about these all day!

  40. I love oatmeal cookies and they have been on my baking wishlist for quite a while now. You have a nice collection of oatmeal cookie recipes on here, so I will definetely look them up when I’m ready to bake some myself! Thank you!

  41. That layer of fudge in the middle clinches it. I am making these. You’ve been posting such good bars this week, Averie! And I’m powerless to resist.

  42. These look so good..I love the chewy texture that you get when you bake with oatmeal…I love oatmeal with butterscotch and can so see replacing the chocolate layer with a butterscotch layer..thanks for a great recipe.

    1. Oh that chocolate layer as butterscotch would be excellent or still use the chocolate and then make a butterscotch layer, too. Like a double-stuffed bar :)

      I have a recipe linked in the related recipes for my Oatmeal Scotchies. I love them and if you like oats + butterscotch, that’s a great cookie recipe!

  43. Oh..my! I am a huge fan of an great oatmeal cookie, so I bet these taste amazing! I am in love with the fudgy center!! Hope you had a great holiday weekend! :)