Oatmeal Fudge Bars

It has been a long time since I have been in the kitchen. It all started with a nasty case of food poisoning, of course from one of my favorite places to eat…so upsetting, and then the following week I was in the hospital with kidney stones. Cooking was quickly put on the back burner during my recovery and desire to just feel normal again.

Yesterday I took a cooking class at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. It was a great motivator to get me back in the kitchen. We made some great recipes, which I will share soon once I have a chance to recreate them.

This recipe I am sharing is from a new book my wonderful friend Lindsay gave me for my birthday. The book is published by America’s Test Kitchen, and if you are unfamiliar, just know that they know whats up with food. Trust that the recipe will be one of the best possible versions of whatever you are cooking. This recipe caught my eye because I had all of the ingredients in my kitchen already. It could not have been any easier for me to wade back into the kitchen. I am so happy to be back!

Ingredients:

CRUST AND TOPPING

  • 1 1/2 cups of quick oats
  • 1 1/2 cups of packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

FILLING

  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of instant espresso or coffee powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs

Prepare the crust and topping:

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325.

Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with an aluminum foil or parchment paper sling (see the image above). Melt the butter and allow to cool. Whisk oats, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter until combined. Reserve 1 1/4 cups of the mixture for the topping. Pour the remaining oats into the pan and press firmly to evenly coat the bottom. Bake for 8 minutes until it is light golden brown. Allow to cool for 1 hour.

Make the filling:

Preheat the oven to 325.

Whisk flour, sugar, espresso, and salt together in a medium bowl. Melt the chocolate chips and butter together in the microwave, stirring often, for 1 – 3 minutes. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and let cool slightly. I am really lazy, so I put the chocolate mixture into the Kitchenaid at this point, but you could still do it by hand if you want. Whisk in the eggs until just combined. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated.

Spread the filling evenly over the cooled crust and smooth the top. Sprinkle the reserved oat topping over the chocolate. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.

Let the bars cool in the pan for about 2 hours. Remove from the pan using the sling. Slice and serve.

Source: America’s Test Kitchen: Menu Cookbook

 

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