Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars (Treats For Co-Irkers)

Missing: Large yellow sphere typically seen in the sky during daytime hours. Emits brilliant light and warmth and readily chases the blues away. Is shy and hates to be seen during the winter months. Answers to the name of Sun.

Reward: Three dozen of these oatmeal almost-candy bars and my undying gratitude.

I'm not a member of the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group but I knew as soon as I saw these cookie bars all over the internet this week that I'd just have to make these treats for the co-irkers. I hope they chase away the gray and make your mouth feel all sunny inside. (that's totally dorky, I know)

Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars (recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours

For the oatmeal (bottom and top) layer:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsps pure vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
1 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

For the chocolate (middle) layer:

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) optional
3/4 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9X13 pan with cooking spray and place pan on a baking sheet.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and set aside.

With mixer, beat butter on medium speed in a large mixing bowl until it is soft and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat for two minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each one. Beat in the vanilla. Scrape down bowl and beaters. Add the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed just until they're incorporated. Stir in the oats and the peanuts using a heavy wooden spoon or spatula.

Set aside 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the mixture and turn the remaining dough into the greased pan. Gently press the dough over the bottom of the pan. Set aside while you prepare the chocolate layer.

In a double boiler over medium low heat, pour the condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter and salt, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla, peanuts and raisins (if using.)

Evenly spread the chocolate mixture over the oatmeal mixture then crumble the reserved oatmeal mixture evenly (as best you can) on top of the chocolate.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the chocolate layer is dull and starting to coming away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to cooling rack and cool for two hours.

Run a knife around the edges of the pan and then carefully turn the cake out onto a rack. Turn right side up and refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting.

Makes 32 bars. Can be eaten at room temperature but best when stored covered in the fridge.

21 comments:

Linda said...

Yes, these have been calling out to me from blogland too. And you make it so easy for me to try!

June said...

Sorry Mags, can't send you any sun right now either. Big storm. Scary wind. Airborne cat. Yikes! But who needs sun when you've got these?

Cottage Cozy said...

yum...they definitely look as good as a candy bar...

Frieda said...

Dorky? Nope. Delicious? Definitely! Thanks for sending some yumminess our way...

HoneyB said...

oh yeah, these look like some awesome bars! btw I don't have SU until I'm back on my own laptop - I will be back to give you my thumbs up as soon as possible!!

Pam said...

Oh yeah. Except none for my co-irkers. All for me. And maybe my husband. Maybe.

Co Irker said...

Oh, embrace the dorkiness. God knows, I do.

And although I didn't feel the sunshine in, I did feel comforted by the peanutty, oaty, chocolatey goodness.

Plus they have to be good for you what with the oatmeal and raisins, right? RIGHT?

They were so good. The perfect combination of cinnamon and chocolate.

The sun, I fear, will be absent for at least a few more days. Hang in there and look on the bright side - the humidity is good for your skin.

Thank you our almost-perfect accomplished alchemist.

TGIF

Moogie said...

Mags, this looks super yummy. By the way, even the sunny south has not seen that shy damn orb.

stephchows said...

even without the sun you got a great shot! They look delicious!

Susan said...

They look fabulous! Love how you cut them.

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

I tried Tuesdays with Dorie but I was eating wa-ay too much dessert. I am only cooking for myself and whichever lucky neighbour happens to drop in. These look good. I have the book and will make a note.

Barbara Bakes said...

I've been drooling over these bars too! They look scrumptious! I'd love some sun too!

Mags said...

Linda: Do try them, they're delicious!

June: I hope you're scary storm has passed and that Georgie survived the trauma!

Cottage Cozy: Thank you!

Frieda: Aww...you're welcome!

HoneyB: I hope your computer is back up and running soon!

Pam: LOL..these are very easy to hoard!

Co Irker: I'm so glad you enjoyed them. I forgot to add that I didn't include the raisins because I'm not a fan of them but I can imagine if you like them that they'd be a great addition to these bars.

Moogie: That's a little bit of comfort knowing that it's not just the midwest that has been sunless for weeks.

Steph: Thanks!

Susan: Thank you!

All Our Fingers: I know, isn't it difficult to do all this baking when there is no one else around to eat it? That's why I get rid of it quickly too.

Barbara: Thanks for commenting hon!

Midday Escapades said...

Num! Num! Sounds awesome. I saw your comment on Sweet Jeanette's blog and wanted to let you know I have 5 giveaways ending tonight, including some Super Bowl ones (more to come tomorrow).

~ Lynn
http://bit.ly/jIbPb

Velva said...

You bake the most delightful treats! These almost-candy bars look amazing. Yum!!!

sweetjeanette said...

oh my goodness gracious! I'm drooling!!!! These look sinfully heavenly!

Karen said...

Lucky co-irkers!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Yum... I've seen these on quite a few blogs this week, and I'm really craving them now.

Federica said...

mmm...che buona!!! me ne mangerei una fetta! ciao!

jules said...

hi mags...you've made these treats look X-tra delicious. Great photo. A little sunless day's not gonna stop you...you've convinced me to make a batch.

Anonymous said...

Sound very good-will try soon-Thanks