Oatmeal Fudge Bars

I’ve discovered that oats and chocolate are a very underrated combination. While I don’t typically put chocolate in my morning oatmeal, I have found that chocolate added to an oat-based baked good is, in almost all cases, a very, very good decision. Chocolate chips instead of raisins in oatmeal cookies? Superb. Mini chocolate chips in homemade granola bars? No-brainer. Chocolate and caramel in Oatmeal Carmalita Bars? Heaven. Chocolate and oats together in desserts and snacks will always make your taste buds smile. Which is exactly why these Oatmeal Fudge Bars are a huge win. You’re going to love them!

This is an easy-peasy bar recipe that only requires a couple of bowls, a whisk, and a spatula. Don’t you just love those?! An oatmeal crumb crust serves as the bread in this amazing brownie sandwich. Part of it is used as a bottom crust, and the rest as a crumble topping. In between? A wonderful layer of fudge-like brownie awesomeness. It’s part crunchy, part dense and chocolatey, and part crumbly. An easy recipe perfect for after-school snacks, an easy dessert, or something to bring along to a work potluck or friend’s picnic. The epitome of a versatile recipe!

One year ago: Broccoli Salad
Two years ago: Dark Chocolate Truffles

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Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Ingredients:

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1¼ cups light brown sugar, divided

1 cup all-purpose flour, divided

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt + ¼ teaspoon salt, divided

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee

1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 egg


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing excess to hang over pan edges. Grease foil; set pan aside.


2. Combine the oats, 1 cup of the brown sugar, ¾ cup of the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the pinch of salt. Stir together in a bowl to combine. Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter and stir into the oat mixture until combined. Reserve ¾ cup of the mixture for the topping.


3. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the bottom of the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake until light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour.


4. Combine the remaining ¼ cup of flour, the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar, the instant espresso powder, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl; set aside.


5. Melt the chocolate chips and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large bowl, microwaving at 50% power in 30-second intervals, stirring after each. Let cool slightly. Add the egg and whisk until combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.


6. Pour the chocolate filling over the cooled crust and sprinkle with the remaining oatmeal mixture. Bake until a toothpick inserted in to the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Using the foil overhang, lift the bars from the pan and cut into squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.


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(Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Holiday Cookies)


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