Much unlike me, Mr. Vittles could take or leave desserts. He usually eats sweets more as a snack than a dessert, and for the most part, seems strangely indifferent to their sugary goodness.
But on the rare occasion he latches on to something, he doesn't let go.
Like... the ricotta cookies, and now these.
I made these chocolate oatmeal fudge bars for the first time a few weeks ago, as a dessert to bring to a friend's birthday dinner party. Mr V. was supposed to accompany me to said party, but at the last minute he couldn't go because there was a fire at the golf course where he manages.
Which would be a really insane excuse not to go a dinner party (I'm sure people have used it) but I did see pictures and can confirm their storage shed really did get reduced to rubble.
Anyhoo... since he was not going to be able to try this new recipe at the party (AND I was having a very small gathering of my own a couple nights later) I saved about a third of the batch to keep at home. Which is actually a lot, because these are very rich and I cut them into small pieces.
But apparently...that was not enough.
Between the night after the birthday party and the next day, I could not pry these things from his grubby little paws.
In fact, I had to explicitly tell him NOT to touch any more of the oatmeal cookie bars until after our party. Which I thought would be fine since a) he's not a big sweets guy and b) there were still some cookies and cupcakes left over from Momma Vittles' brunch.
But alas, this was not the case. I was told that the oatmeal bars were "dominant" and that he could see no other desserts in their presence.
Then yesterday, I was told it was "time to make more of those oatmeal things", and he again used the term "dominant" to describe them.
Kind of a strange choice of words... must be a powerful attraction.
So even though its currently 81 degrees in our home (our AC is not so great so we don't even bother unless its super hot), I fired up the oven and made the Dominant Oatmeal Bars.
Which are, by the way, a layer of oatmeal cookie, topped with a soft, chocolately fudge, and then more droplets of oatmeal cookie.
Yes. What a good wifey I am.
And after they had cooled and I went to go cut them into squares ... I found that a little mouse had already taken a sample:
A 6'4" mouse that knows how to use a knife.
Chocolate Oatmeal Fudge Bars
For the oatmeal layer:
- 2½ C all-purpose flour
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. salt
- ¼ t. ground cinnamon
- 1 C. (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 2 C. light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 3 C. old-fashioned oats
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 T. butter
- ¼ t. salt
- 1 t. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil (preferably nonstick) that overlaps the edges, and grease with nonstick cooking spray.
Make the oatmeal cookie layer: Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl and whisk to blend. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium-high speed until it is soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients you set aside just until incorporated. Mix in the oats on low or with a rubber spatula until evenly combined.
Reserve 1½ cups of the mixture. Place the remaining dough in the prepared pan and press over the bottom of the pan in an even layer.
Make the chocolate layer: combine the condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter and salt in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 15 second increments, stirring after each, until mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
Pour the warm chocolate mixture over the oatmeal cookie layer and spread evenly with an offset spatula. (Tip: Spray one side of spatula with nonstick cooking spray to spread more easily, if desired) Crumble the remaining oatmeal cookie mixture and scatter evenly over the top of the chocolate.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the chocolate layer is starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Lift foil out of pan, and cut into bars as desired. (I would recommend cutting them fairly small, as they are pretty rich).
Recipe Adapted from Annie's Eats