Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chocolate On Oatmeal Bars

Chocolate On Oatmeal Bars
Source: Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies (Random House, 1995 ed.), pg. 71.

Amidst the tornado warnings and chaos going on outside, I made these yesterday and brought them to share at the library. Now you know that anything with oatmeal and chocolate is going to be good!

The recipe reads as written but I changed a few of the steps which I think makes it easier to follow. This calls for a 9-inch square pan but I only have an 8-inch so I used it. The only difference is that the bars might be a little thicker. Also, I only had almond milk on hand and used it in the exact proportion. It was fine.

I think these actually tasted better the next day. Just store them in an air-tight container.

Oatmeal Layer

3 oz. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup sifted unbleached flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (not "instant")
3 oz. milk chocolate, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350 and use lower rack.

Line a 8 or 9-inch square pan with foil. Spray the foil with a nonstick spray. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  After it has melted, cook an additional 30 seconds. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.
Place in a large bowl and stir in the oatmeal.

Add the melted butter and mix.

Turn into the prepared pan and with floured fingertips, press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 10 minutes. (You can work on the chocolate layer as this is baking.)

As soon as it is removed from the oven, sprinkle the milk chocolate evenly over the crust and allow it to melt.

Chocolate Layer

2/3 cup minus 2 TBS. sifted flour
2 TBS. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 1/2 oz. (3/4 cups) walnuts, cut into small-medium pieces
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
2 oz. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt. Set aside.

Stir the vanilla into the milk. Set aside.

In a small double-boiler or saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate. Stir to mix and then transfer to a mixer bowl.

Beat in the sugar...

and the egg.

Lower the speed and add half of sifted dry ingredients...
then the milk,
then the remaining dry ingredients.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the walnuts.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the crust and spread evenly.

Bake for about 25 minutes until a tester comes out with just a bit of the chocolate mixture clinging to it.
Let stand until cool.
Invert the pan by covering it with a board or cookie sheet. Cut the bars with a long, sharp knife into small squares.

Store in an air-tight container.



Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking said...

Dang these look good! I say the thicker the better!!! I spy those Hershey's bars you picked up the other day ;-)

Ps- You work at a library?!!?! I'm totally jealous! Libraries and bookstores make me happy.

Phillip Oliver said...

Yes, I work at the University of North Alabama library. And before I went into library school, I worked in bookstores. There seems to be a trend here!

Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking said...

Cool! Do you just drink in the book smell everyday?! Does it have a rare book room? Because if it does then I'm coming to visit!!!

Phillip Oliver said...

Lindsey, I am on the main floor and these days it is mostly computers. :(

We do have an archives room upstairs with books and materials on local history. The top two floors are stacks and stacks of books. These days though the students want everything online! Very sad.

Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking said...

Booo to reading and researching online. I used to study in the old stacks at Wake Forest at this rickety desk that was actually built into the bookshelves. Sigh. Happiness!