I know a lot of people who love Fall. They love pulling out their sweaters, trading flip flops for boots, leaves changing, chill in the air, etc., etc. I don’t love Fall. I miss summer’s late sunsets, easier dressing (throwing a sun dress on is a whole lot simpler than dealing with an “outfit”), my kids home from school without the stress of homework and after school activities. What is wrong with me? The one thing I do love about Fall is the food. I am sick of grilling and cold salads and ready for big pots of chili, baked pastas, and creamy soups.
I am also ready to fire up my oven and start baking again. My daughter even said at the end of the summer “Could someone around here finally bake something?” I got the hint. These oatmeal fudge bars (basically an oatmeal cookie fudge sandwich) are very Fall - I love an oatmeal chocolate combo, heavy on the oatmeal. As with many of my favorite cookies and bars - a great breakfast!
Oatmeal Fudge Bars (adapted from a recipe by browneyedbaker.com)
1 cup oats
1¼ cups brown sugar, divided
1 cup flour, divided
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
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Pinch of salt + ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
10 tablespoons butter, divided
1½ cups chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. Set pan aside.
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. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the bottom of the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake until light golden brown, about 9 - 11 minutes. Set aside.
Combine the remaining ¼ cup of flour, the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl; set aside.
Melt the chocolate chips and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large bowl, microwaving at 30-second intervals, stirring after each. Let cool slightly. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk until combined. Fold in the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Pour the chocolate filling over the cooled oatmeal 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, 20 to 28 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Lift the bars from the pan and cut into squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.