During my pregnancy with Oden, I had a serious sweet tooth. I made Black Russian Cake and Whiskey Toffee Blondies. I ordered more boxes of Girl Scout cookies than necessary. I bought coffee cake at the Starbucks in my grocery store to eat while I shopped. I learned that the donuts from the deli are quite delicious. I took myself out for secret gelato in the middle of the day. I made s’mores in the toaster oven. I brought ice cream sandwiches to bed. If I felt motivated, I’d make delicious homemade cookies. If not, I popped open tubes of Tollhouse cookie dough and ate it raw. And I polished off more than my share of after-dinner ice cream (or after lunch, for that matter). Aside from worrying about gestational diabetes, I figured that I’d earned these treats. I was growing a baby, after all, and baby apparently wanted sugar…and a lot of it.
Truthfully, my “pregnancy” sweet tooth hasn’t left me completely. While it’s not as extreme as it was, I find myself craving a bite of something sweet after dinner just about every night. However, while my energy level might be (mostly) back to normal, my free time is not. So when I had the chance to spend some time in the kitchen this weekend while John hung out with Oden, I jumped at the chance. And naturally, I made something sweet.
My “Sweet Stuff” Pinterest board is full of cookie bars of all kinds. I settled on one that looked like a combination of an oatmeal cookie and a brownie. YUM! Miraculously, I had all of the ingredients on hand. I took it as a sign and got to work.
I started by mixing the butter, eggs, and quite a bit of brown sugar. Next, I added vanilla and some milk and beat it until it got creamy.
In another bowl, I combined flour, lots of oats, baking soda, and salt. At the last minute, I decided to chop up some pecans and toss them in, too. The dry ingredients made friends with the wet ingredients. The result was a super tasty oatmeal cookie batter. I spread about a third of it into a greased baking dish and set it aside to work on the second part of this decadent treat: the fudgy center.
For the chocolate layer, I simply combined a can of sweetened condensed milk, a bag of chocolate chips, some butter, and a little vanilla. I stirred it while it melted into smooth, dreamy fudge. I poured the warm chocolate right over the oatmeal cookie layer and spread it around with my spatula. Oh, this is going to be GOOD.
Before popping the pan in the oven, I dropped big spoonfuls of the remaining oatmeal cookie batter over the top of the chocolate. It doesn’t have to be pretty because it’s going to be delicious. I love that you can see the layers through the glass dish!
The cookie bars baked until the oatmeal layer on top turned a lovely golden brown (about a half an hour). I tried my very best to let it cool completely before cutting into it so the layers would set. Hello, gorgeous!
I was right about the oatmeal cookie/brownie combo. The oatmeal cookie base holds everything together and the browned bits on top add a little crunch to each bite. The fudgy chocolate layer is gooier than a brownie and makes this dessert pretty rich, so you probably don’t need a piece as big as the one I cut for myself. Oops.
These bars definitely require a fork, and I would recommend adding a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to the mix… or at least a cold glass of milk! Completely decadent.
I guess I can’t blame the baby for my sweet tooth anymore, but every once in a while, it’s ok to indulge. One thing is for sure: If you’re craving a sweet treat, these bars will hit the spot. Just try not to eat the whole batch!
Chocolatey Oatmeal Cookie Bars (thank you, High Heels and Grills)
For the cookie layer, you’ll need:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 2 ½ cups oats
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the chocolate fudge layer, you’ll need:
- 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat the softened butter, brown sugar, and eggs. Add the vanilla and milk and beat until creamy and smooth. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and pecans. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Evenly spread 2/3 of the oatmeal cookie batter into the baking dish and aside.
In a saucepan, combine the fudge ingredients and heat over low heat, stirring regularly until melted. Pour the mixture over the oatmeal cookie base and spread with a spoon. Drop big spoonfuls of the remaining cookie batter over the top of the chocolate.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the oatmeal cookie layer on top begins to brown. Let the cookie bars cool completely before cutting into them to allow them to set. Don’t forget the ice cream or glass of milk, and invite your friends over for dessert so you don’t eat the whole batch. YUM.
Hungry for more? Check out the collection of recipes on the FOOD BLISS page!
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