Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Chocolate Bars


I have been home for the holidays for over a week.  Since arriving, I have made cookies four times.  Some of the cookies I have made, like these chocolate bars, are family favorites.  


I have made an eaten these chocolate bars for years.  The recipe came from my aunt.  It is one of my top five favorite bar cookies.

I'm a fan of cookies in all their forms, but nothing beats a bar cookie in simplicity.  With bar cookies, there is no need to repeatedly roll out and cut or scoop the dough into mounds.  You just smash the dough into a pan and bake in one go.


Because of the layers, this bar cookies looks fancy too.  The only shortcoming of bar cookies is you can't sneakily eat too much dough or else you won't be able to fill the whole pan.


As I said earlier, this recipe came from my aunt.  I'm not sure where she got the recipe from originally.  It has been written on a recipe card in my mother's recipe box for years.  It's a keeper.


The ingredients are 1 cup shortening, 2 cups brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/2 cups flour, 4 cups rolled oats, 1 cup walnuts, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 12 ounces chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons butter.  You could use any type of nut in place of walnuts.


I started by making the oatmeal cooke base and topping.  I added the shortening and brown sugar into a mixing bowl.  I creamed these ingredients together.



I beat in the eggs and one teaspoon of vanilla extract.


I mixed in one teaspoon of salt, baking soda, all-purpose flour, and rolled oats.



I mixed in chopped walnuts.


I reserved a cup and a half of the oatmeal cookie mixture.  The rest of the dough I pressed into the bottom of an edged sheet pan.


For the chocolate layer, I added the sweetened condensed milk, salt, semi sweet chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla extract into a saucepan over medium heat.





 I stirred the fudge layer until it was melted and thoroughly combined.


I poured the fudge layer on top of the cookie base and evenly spread the fudge out.



I sprinkled the reserved cup and a half of oat cookie dough over the fudge layers.



I baked the bars for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.


I let the bars partially cook and firm up before cutting them into generous squares.


This is one of my favorite cookie recipes.  It is so simple to make, and the results are impressive.


The cookie base is chewy and buttery.  The brown sugar gives the bars moisture and a caramelized flavor.


The oats give the cookie a hearty texture.  The nuts were crunchy.



The chocolate layer is decadent and fudge like.  The texture is smooth and creamy. 


The rich chocolate layer pares well with the oat filled, browned, and caramelized cookie layer.


These cookies were phenomenal.  They were scrumptious and delightful.  I make them regularly.  Not only are they delicious, but for me, they are nostalgic as well.


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