Thursday, June 16, 2011

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Tracey of Tracey's Culinary Adventures must be blushing. Whenever I'm trolling for a new recipe, her blog is my first stop. Tracey made these bars earlier in the week and like so many things I see there, I had to make them pronto.

That the bars worked in spite of my best efforts to screw up the recipe is a testament to their versatility. Indeed, I added the dry ingredients with the chocolate and still ended up with a sinfully delicious but easy bar cookie. They're flavored with a healthy dose of espresso powder, and I snuck in some cinnamon as well as I learned with this pie that chocolate + espresso + cinnamon = bliss. They're rich, so cut them in tiny little pieces.

Oatmeal Fudge Bars
from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book by way of Tracey's Culinary Adventures
Printer-friendly recipe 

1 cup (3 oz) quick-cooking oats
1 cup packed (7 oz) light brown sugar
3/4 cup (3 3/4 oz) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup (1 1/4 oz) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed (1 3/4 oz) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons instant espresso
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Vietnamese for its flavor & spice)
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg

To make the crust: Preheat oven to 325 F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on opposite sides to lift the bars out after they're baked.

In a large bowl whisk together the oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the melted butter and use a rubber spatula to stir until all of the dry ingredients are moistened. Set aside about 3/4 cup of the crust mixture for the topping. Press the remaining crust mixture into the prepared baking pan in an even layer.

Bake for 8 minutes, or until light golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool the crust completely, about 1 hour. Maintain oven temperature.

Make the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, espresso powder and salt. Add the chocolate and butter to a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals at 50% power (stirring in between each interval) until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Let cool slightly. Add the egg to the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture just until combined (the mixture will be thick).

Spread the filling over the cooled crust. Smooth the top, then sprinkle the reserved oat topping over the filling. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the bars cool completely in the pan. Use the parchment overhang to lift the bars out of the pan and cut into squares.


Tracey said...

Awww thanks Leslie - you're too sweet :) I love that your variation worked out, it looks great! These are rich so I sent them to work with Shane and his coworkers devoured them for me!

Pamela said...

Here I am, catching up on my blog reading, and I have to drool over these suckers twice?!? Yum. They look awesome. I am going to bed soon, guess I might have sweet dreams after all! ;-)

serika said...

Hi I'm Serika nice to meet you. I would like to say that your little recipes look amazingly delicious. I think I will give these a try! Thanks for posting these! Keep it up :D

Anonymous said...

I can't decide which of your delicious chocolate recipes to try first! I think I may have to roll a dice....

Torviewtoronto said...

yummy looking delicious bars Leslie looks wonderful looks like I have missed a few of your yummy posts

Di said...

Between you and Tracey, I'm going to have to try these. =) They look really delicious.

W.C.Camp said...

Looks tasty - I like your tip to leave the parchment long to lift the cookies! Awesome - thanks! W.C.C.

Cakelaw said...

Mmmm, these look delicious - I can see why you were taken with them. And they contain oats - so they've gotta be healthy, right?

Live to Sing said...

Ugh these look delish!!!! yumm yumm!

Hanaâ said...

These bars look really good. I would never have picked them by looking at the name alone. I like your add-ins!!