Oatmeal Chocolate Squares

I’m going to share a recipe today that was one of my favorites as a teenager and remains extraordinarily popular with the teenagers I work with.  Oatmeal Chocolate Squares are not healthy – let’s not pretend that they are, but – in moderation – they are sweet, delicious and the perfect special occasion snack!

I will warn you that you don’t want to eat them hot out of the oven; they need to be cooled first in order to let inside layer of molten chocolate deliciousness set (so you don’t end up with a mess of melted chocolate filling in the pan!).  However, nobody ever said you couldn’t let them set, cut them into squares and then toss them back into the oven in small ramekins or the microwave so you can enjoy them at their melt-y best.

This recipe has two separate sets of ingredients – one for the bars (which you split into 2/3 for the crust and 1/3 for the crumb topping) and the filling.

Ingredients for the Cookie Crust
1 c butter
2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
2.5 c all purpose flour (I usually do 1 whole wheat and 1.5 AP)
1 t soda
1 t salt
3 c oats
1/4 c flax seed (optional but a good way to add some health benefits)

Ingredients for the Chocolate Filling
1 15 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag chocolate chips (I use Hershey Milk Chocolate Chips)
2 T butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the vanilla and eggs.
  3. Since I cook with a KitchenAid stand mixer, I tend not to premix the flour soda and salt before I add them; however, if you don’t have a stand mixer, I would whisk them together in a separate bowl before adding them to ensure that the flour and soda get fully incorporated.
  4. Stir in the oats until fully combined.  The dough will be fairly moist.
  5. Spread 2/3 of the mixture into an ungreased 9 x 13 pan.  Reserve the remaining 2/3 of the mixture in the bowl.  I add a slightly raised crust to the edges to prevent the chocolate from sticking.
  6. Next, over medium heat melt the butter for the filling.
  7. Lower the heat and add the chocolate chips and stir until completely melted.  By adding them to the melted butter it quickens the process, but be careful not to burn them!
  8. As soon as the chips are melted, remove them from the heat and stir in the evaporated milk.  Be careful to fully incorporate it.  You’ll notice that it lightens and glosses the chocolate.
  9. Pour chocolate over the cookie crust.
  10. Sprinkle with remaining cookie dough broken into small chunks.
  11. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes until top is golden.
  12. Cool completely.  If you don’t, you’ll have a delicious mess on your hands; I promise!
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