Fudgy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
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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.
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.
I made oatmeal cookie bars rather than actual cookies because they’re faster, easier, and less fussy. Labor Day isn’t about laboring.
The chocolate chip oatmeal 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.
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. Make 7-Minute Microwave Caramels, Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars, or Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars with the other half can.
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.
What’s in Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars?
To make these oatmeal cookie bars, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Old-fashioned oats
- All-purpose flour
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Sweetened condensed milk
How to Make Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
Melt the butter, then whisk in the egg, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add the oats, flour, and salt, then turn 3/4 of the mixture into a greased 8×8-inch pan.
Then, melt the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk together. Once fully melted and smooth, pour over the oatmeal cookie crust.
Crumble the remaining oatmeal cookie dough over the chocolate layer, then pop the bars into the oven to bake. Once done, sprinkle with additional chocolate chips and let the bars cool for at least an hour before slicing.
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.
Tips for Making Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars
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.
For more of a salty-sweet flavor, sprinkle with flaky sea salt once the oatmeal chocolate chip bars come out of the oven.
Note that these 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 650Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 109mgCarbohydrates: 86gFiber: 2gSugar: 70gProtein: 9g
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