Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chewy Oatmeal Fudge Bars

While I believe it’s really important to have pantry staples for preparing healthy meals.  I also believe in the importance of having a baking pantry stocked!  Some things I try to always keep on hand include:

all purpose flour
white whole wheat flour
bread flour
rolled oats
baking soda
baking powder
cocoa powder
fleur de sel
cream of tarter
vegetable/canola oil
peanut butter
chocolate/butterscotch/white chocolate chips
walnuts & pecans
spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, etc

With this list, I can usually make a long list of desserts when the mood strikes.  And this is important because the mood strikes at least once a week!

I made these on a night our neighbor invited us over for dinner.  He said not to bring anything, but I insisted on bringing dessert.  I cut some of these before they had cooled completely so the ones I shared at his gathering were a bit messy!  If you let these cool completely, you’ll get clean sharp edges.  No matter how you slice them, you’ll end up with a delicious bar cookie!  These combine the taste of an oatmeal cookie, with a thick layer of fudgey goodness.  I’m a tad bit embarrassed to admit this, but we brought about half the pan to his house, and left the other half at home.  All the ones we brought over were eaten, which meant we still had half a pan to ourselves.  I said “I’ll probably bring these to work to unload the rest of them.” Umm… after eating them for two more days, we decided they were just too delicious to share.  So Nathan & I finished off the rest all on our own in a week’s time!  hehehe


Chewy Oatmeal Fudge Bars


2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups oats
2 cups chocolate chips
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (15 oz.)
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional, walnuts or pecans) *I did not use


Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan. (Or you could line with parchment paper.)

In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat together softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until combined. Add vanilla and mix well.

Slowly add the sifted flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in oatmeal.

Gently spread 2/3 crust into bottom of prepared pan. Reserve the rest for topping.

Make the filling:
Over Medium-Low heat, melt together chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons butter, and salt. Stir until smooth. Remove mixture from heat and stir in vanilla and nuts if using.

Evenly pour filling mixture onto crust but keeping filling about a 1/4 inch away from side of pan so it does not stick to side while baking. (The pan I used was nonstick and brand new, so even the chocolate that got on the edge did not cause a problem. If you chose to use parchment paper, chocolate on the edges probably wouldn't cause an issue either.) Evenly dollup top of filling with remaining oat mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until topping is light brown and fudge layer set but not solid. Don’t overbake these bars or they can become dry.

Cool in pan on rack until set before cutting. Can chill to set faster. Keep stored in airtight container.

as seen on Beantown Baker, originally from Baking Blonde

Sorry I got so picture happy, I had a really hard time deciding which photo to use!  *sigh*

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24 Responses to “Chewy Oatmeal Fudge Bars”

  1. 1
    itchbay — January 19, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

    Yes! I have a thing about keeping certain staples on hand at all times. If I move the last of something from the pantry to the accessible part of the kitchen, it immediately goes on the shopping list. The benefit, as you said, is that I can whip up something at a moment’s notice, and not have to think, “Do I have any whole wheat flour?” I also keep a pound of butter in the freezer, aside from what’s in the fridge being used up.

    These bars looks so delicious. I may have to make up a pan this weekend.

  2. 2
    Jen @ — January 19, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    I definitely keep a lot of similar staples in my pantry. I’m always shocked when I run out of something like powdered sugar. It seems to happen all the time. I’ll sit down to make frosting and look to see I have no powdered sugar! That’s the worst.

    These bars are SO good. I took them the first day on my new job and they definitely made a good impression!

  3. 3
    Beth — January 19, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

    These look soooo yummy! I’ve had such a sweet tooth since getting pregnant, so I’ve baked more in the past 6 months than I probably have in the past 3 years combined!

  4. 4
    Jessica — January 20, 2012 @ 12:16 am

    Heck…considering you are pregnant I think the mood should be allowed to strike every day!

  5. 5
    Nuts about food — January 20, 2012 @ 7:01 am

    I made these a while ago and posted about them. They were pretty sinful. Very pretty pictures!

  6. 6
    Angie @ Sweet Natured Treats — January 20, 2012 @ 10:33 am

    I totally have all those ingredients on hand, except sweetened condensed milk, which I prefer to make from scratch. I am so making a batch to share with the neighbors this weekend.

  7. 7
    Annalise — January 20, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

    Erin, these look incredible!

  8. 8
    Julia — January 20, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

    Once a week, THAT’S IT!?!? LUCKY! These bars look great, like REAL great!

    • Erin replied: — January 20th, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

      Haha! I actually get the urge more often, but my schedule really only allows time for 1, MAYBE 2 maximum, baking!  (Now, if I never had to clean up the mess, I’d have WAY more time!)

      Make these, they’re tasty!!

  9. 9
    natalie (the sweets life) — January 20, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    ohhh i’ve made these and i remember how much we loved them!

    i share a lot of the baked goods i make, but the really really good ones i somehow forget to share 😉

  10. 10
    Janet Foster — January 20, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    Those look good. Now I want chocolate.

  11. 11
    Lesley — January 21, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    I like how the oats and the nuts make them healthy. 🙂

  12. 12
    Heather — January 22, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

    oh yum!! great pictures, too!

  13. 13
    E Coleman — January 23, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

    The chocolate filling seemed really salty to me. Was my mistake using regular table salt instead of kosher salt?

    • Erin replied: — January 23rd, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

      I used table salt in mine. Hmmm… I’m not sure what would cause yours to taste saltier. I read the comments on the two sources this came from, there weren’t a lot, but no one commented on having that problem. I’m sorry yours ended up tasting that way! If you do make them again, I’d suggest reducing the salt to 1/2 a teaspoon.

  14. 14
    E Coleman — January 24, 2012 @ 8:41 am

    I’ll definitely have to try again with less salt because I love anything with oats and chocolate. And maybe using kosher salt will help as well. Love your blog!

  15. 15
    Julia — February 6, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

    I am only beginning to get into baking and cooking and all that domestic junk. Would it be okay to use whole wheat flour? That’s all I have…and a lot of it (donated to me)! I try to use it whenever possible, but I’ve heard that it “sets”/bakes different than regular flour.
    Also, I think I’ll try sprinkling marshmallows on for the last 5 minutes of baking (I also have stale marshmallows I need to use! LOL)

    • Erin replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

      Hmm… I’m not sure how it would work with this. Sometimes I sub half of the flour called for in a recipe with whole wheat, but I don’t often sub the entire amount. It might be alright in this recipe, but I can’t say for sure! Good luck, and please report back!

  16. 16
    Carrie — February 16, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    Made these for the superbowl, and they were out of this world! Put half the nuts in the batter and half in the sauce, and cut the salt way back in the sauce (to just a few pinches). I used white whole wheat flour, and found that the flour absorbed so much moisture from the batter that I had about a half cup left, then b/c it wasn’t very spreadable, it made an 8×8 pan with enough left for one large cookie (taste testing purposes, obviously). I had quite a bit of the fudge sauce left over, so we made hot fudge sundaes with the bars….O…M….G…. Sorry for the long comment, but these were just fantastic!

  17. 17
    Jessica — July 27, 2012 @ 8:25 am

    I have made these twice in the past 2 weeks and they are heavenly!!! I had to pass them out to neighbors and friends so I wouldn’t eat them all by myself and they were all raving about them! Thanks so much for the great (and pretty easy! yeah!) recipe!

  18. 18
    Perkins — August 2, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

    O.k., wiped drool from keyboard from looking at and reading about the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles, found these Oatmeal Fudge cookies and now have to re-wipe! These look like they make a pretty good sized batch. I’m going to make them and take them down the street to the firemen (I bake for them about once a month) this week. I’m sure they will be pleased! If you get time, bake for the firemen, they can’t really get out to get snacks like the policemen do. But, bake for the policemen too:)

  19. 19
    Steven — January 30, 2013 @ 5:03 am

    I accidently overcooked a batch of fudge resulting in a crumbly chocolatey mess.
    Using the failed fudge as filling, I was able to turn a failure into a success with this recipe!

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