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.

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 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.

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.

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

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.

Did you make this recipe?

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.
Only Eats

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