GUILT FREE Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars!
October 1, 2008 § 8 Comments
Whenever I zip off to a picnic, a birthday or want to bake a little something for a friend, this is my immediate go-to recipe. These bars are not blondie-like (ie. not light and fluffy), but they’re denser from the whole wheat flour, oat bran, oats and a hefty few scoops of ground flax seeds. They also keep wonderfully as leftovers and freeze and thaw perfectly.
Below I’ve included a recipe for 12 bars in one 8 x 8″ pan. Note: I always triple the recipe so I don’t have any leftover sweetened condensed milk lurking on the top shelf of the fridge. Also, when I triple the ingredients, I don’t quite triple the brown sugar — I decrease it by a half cup and never notice the difference.
Lastly, if you have a chocolate allergy (as a dear member of my family has) or prefer to forgo the chocolate, try exchanging it with peanut butter (or preferred nut butter) and melt it with the sweetened condensed milk. I just made a PB batch last week and it was very good, too. I used a little less PB than I would chocolate because of the strong flavor, but feel free to experiment. For my single batch I would use 1/3 of a cup peanut butter; for a triple batch, 1 cup.
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons quick oatmeal (later measurement reserved)
1 heaping tablespoon ground flax seed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons softened butter
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8″ pan. Mix dry ingredients: flour, bran, flax, oatmeal (except the 2 tablespoons), soda, powder and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients: egg, oil, sugar and vanilla. Combine with the dry minus the 2 tablespoons of oatmeal. Reserve 1/3 cup of dough and set aside. Press the rest of dough into greased pan.
3. In a double-boiler or on low heat, melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk until mixture is smooth and completely melted. Spread chocolate mixture over the dough.
4. Using reserved dough, mix in 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of oatmeal. Mix with a fork until crumbly. Drop small spoonfuls or crumble the mixture on top of the chocolate spread.
5. Bake between 18-24 minutes until edges are golden. Let set for at least 5 minutes. These bars are wonderful at room temperature but my favorite after about 15 minutes of cooling, when they’re not too hot, but the middle layer is warm and gooey.
Diet Notes: Nut-free