Chocolate Oatmeal Almost Candy Bars

After two days of bars without chocolate (!?!) it’s time to get some chocolate in here. Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours is one of my favorite cookbooks. The thing has some heft. It’s bigger than a sheet of paper and a couple inches thick. And it’s HEAVY! The pictures in it are beautiful and I love reading Dorie’s little stories before each recipe.

I told Hubby that I was thinking about these bars. I know the TWD group did them not too long ago, but instead of showing him a picture, I just told him about the ingredients in the bar. He just said “eh” when I told him they had chocolate, peanuts, raisins, and oats. I have to admit, I’m not a huge raisin fan myself, but I was definitely intrigued by the combination and decided to just go for it.

Boy am I glad I did! I think everyone who got to enjoy these gems was glad I didn’t just keep searching for another recipe after Hubby was less than enthusiastic about the ingredient list. The raisins give a nice chewiness and sweetness without overpowering the bars. The peanuts and oats give a nice contrast of textures. Overall this bar has it all. They’re not overly sweet and definitely hit the spot.

On top of all that, I’ve been totally digging bars with layers recently. I’m not quite sure why but I have been gravitating towards them. I’m sure you’ll see more layered bars in the future!

One Year Ago: Crockpot Pulled Pork
Two Years Ago: Lemon Curd Cookies

Check out my entire week of bars and brownies here.

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Chocolate Oatmeal Almost Candy Bars

Yield: ~36

Ingredients:

For the oatmeal layer
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

For the chocolate layer
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup moist, plump raisins
3/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts, preferably salted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and place the pan on a baking sheet.

To make the oatmeal layer
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Beat the butter on medium speed until it is soft and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat for 2 minutes, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear. Still on low speed, or working by hand with a rubber spatula, stir in the oats and chopped peanuts.

Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the mixture, then turn the remaining dough into the buttered pan. Gently and evenly press the dough over the bottom of the pan. Set aside while you prepare the next layer.

To make the chocolate layer
Put the condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter, and salt in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir occasionally until the milk is warm and the chocolate and butter are melted. Remove the bowl from the pan of water and stir in the vanilla, raisins, and peanuts.

Pour the warm chocolate over the oatmeal crust, then scatter the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the chocolate layer is dull and starting to come away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and cool for about 2 hours.

Using the parchment paper, pull the bars out of their pan and place on a rack. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting.

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45 Responses to “Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Brownies”

  1. #
    1
    Becca — September 28, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    These look fantastic and are so festive!

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    The Woman — September 28, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Oh my, these look divine! I recently made something similar, but with no chocolate – just a pumpkin batter with cream cheese topping. But I definitely think I must try these too.

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    ABowlOfMush — September 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    These are absolutely beautiful!

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    Carrie — September 28, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Look wonderful!

  5. #
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    oneordinaryday — September 28, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    These look awesome. I just wish it made a bigger pan!

  6. #
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    Jen — September 28, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    They’re pretty rich, but I would imagine you could just double it and make it in a 9×13 pan if you wanted!

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    Ingrid — September 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I made pumpkin spice brownies on Friday and they were delish so I bet these are EVEN BETTER! Thanks for sharing and I’ll be following your tweaks!
    ~ingrid

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    Justin — September 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    i always make a pumpkin cheesecake in the fall with a ginger cookie crumb crust, but i’m liking the chocolate component in your recipe even more.

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    Mia — September 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    oh yum – love pumpkin, and the chocolate/pumpkin combo looks wonderful!

  10. #
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    Heather@BFM — September 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    These look great! Is there a way I can make them non-dairy? Something I can sub the cream cheese for? Thanks!

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    Jen — September 28, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Heather – I’ve had great luck subbing Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese in cheesecake recipes in the past. I think that would definitely work and you could use Earth Balance in the brownie portion. Let me know how it turns out if you try it.

  12. #
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    Jennifer — September 28, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Jenn! I just wanted to let you know that you won the giveaway on my blog last week. I emailed you, but never got a response. Could you email me your mailing address to jennharton@paducah.com. I have to pass it along to myblogspark so they can send you your prize package!

  13. #
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    Heather@BFM — September 28, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Thanks, Jen…I’ll let you know how they come out!

  14. #
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    nutmegnanny — September 28, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    OH wow these do look delicious! I love all that swirled pumpkin…yum!

  15. #
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    Nina — September 29, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Those look amazing!

  16. #
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    Irene — September 29, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Wow, I love these! My husband would die of happiness of I made these for him – pumpkin cheesecake is his favorite thing for fall.

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    thereddeer — September 29, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    They look like tiger fur – very cool! What an interesting flavour combination.

  18. #
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    Colleen — September 29, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    We love these at my house! I like your idea of dark chocolate – I will have to try that next time.

  19. #
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    stephchows — September 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    beautiful! And they look so delicious!! I agree I don’t normally think of pumpkin with chocolate… but you have me convinced!

  20. #
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    Stephanie Wagner — September 29, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    The tops of these are a work of art! Love it!

  21. #
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    Nancy @ Live love laugh — September 30, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Three of my favorite thi ngs in one dessert! Chocolate and pumpkin and cheesecake! How perfect…
    ~Nancy

  22. #
    22
    Nancy @ Live love laugh — September 30, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Three of my favorite thi ngs in one dessert! Chocolate and pumpkin and cheesecake! How perfect…
    ~Nancy

  23. #
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    tagskie — October 1, 2009 at 8:00 am

    hi.. just dropping by here… have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

  24. #
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    Pantry Raid Blog — October 6, 2009 at 2:58 am

    The side-view shot totally won me over. These look delicious!

  25. #
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    bakingsimplicity — October 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    This looks so yummy.
    I now know what to make for the office potluck!

  26. #
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    Skylar Wolfe — October 12, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Those look amazing. I love pumpkin with chocolate, I plan on making these soon.

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    fawkes — October 14, 2009 at 5:14 am

    Your brownies look delicious! I am curious since I would like mine to taste more like pumpkin pie than plain pumpkin should i add pumpkin pie spices or follow your recipe for the spices?
    Thanks!

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    Jen — October 14, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    fawkes – There are a decent amount of spices in the pumpkin portion of the batter. I would recommend making is as the recipe states, then taste it before you pour it into the pan. Maybe then add some pumpkin pie spice if you’d like.

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    lifeoftheparty — October 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I made these over the weekend and they were scrumptious!! I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin but this recipe is now a fall staple. I plan on making them for the family on Thanksgiving…thanks for sharing this!

  30. #
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    strmywthr3 — October 21, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I made these the other day and they were great! a hit at work! yum! thanks!

  31. #
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    malelanie — October 29, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I stumbled across your blog from a Facebook friend and made these brownies last night. DELICIOUS!! I doubled the recipe and it does just fit in a 9×13 pan and took about 60 mins to bake. It’s worth the wait for them to be chilled in the fridge. The flavors are even more delicious that way.

  32. #
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    Dorothy — October 29, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Oh YUM! And gorgeous, to boot. I never thought pumpkin and chocolate go together either, until I tried it! 🙂 Now I’m hooked. Good idea to double up on the cheesecake layer…you can never have enough pumpkin cheesecake after all!

  33. #
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    nutmegnanny — October 30, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you so much for participating in our event! These brownies look amazing. They say Halloween to me for sure!

  34. #
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    Shortcake — November 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I made these– now I love them! Will be repeated each fall 🙂

  35. #
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    Lexi — January 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Amazing! I loved these so much I played with them a bit and made cranberry cheesecake brownies for my christmas baking.(I didn’t stumble on to these till christmas.) I’ll let you know when I put those up on my blog! With credit to you of course!

  36. #
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    Jen — January 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Lexi – cranberry cheesecake brownies sound very intriguing. Can’t wait to see them.

  37. #
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    Kasey — March 3, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Hi Jen! I made these for Heather@BFM’s (comment listed above) birthday and she loved them! Unfortunately I could not find the Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder (I tried 3 stores) so I had to make them with the regular cocoa powder. Can you tell me where you found the Hershey’s Special Dark??

  38. #
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    Jen — March 3, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Kasey – I have actually had a hard time finding it as well. I had actually all but given up on it until one day it caught my eye at the grocery store. I proceeded to buy all three containers. I would say just keep an eye out for it and good luck!

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    Pup Wanna Be — September 28, 2010 at 12:35 am

    1/2 cup of flour seems like very little. Is that correct?

  40. #
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    Jen — September 28, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Pup – Yes, that is the correct amount of flour. Most brownie batters have very little flour in them.

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    rachellehcar — September 29, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Just made these- delicious! I only had the milk chocolate powder, so I’m excited to try it again with the special dark powder.

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    Courtney — September 13, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I doubled the recipe and it perfectly filled a 13×9 pan so you might try it. 🙂 And they are amazing. Also I used margerine not butter and found they were more moist. Happy Baking!

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    alyssajade23 — October 12, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I made these with my nieces and over all they were pretty good, but something about the pumpkin part tasted off. Still, fun and festive to make!

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