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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17 Responses to “Browned Butter Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies”

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    1
    FunandFearlessinBeantown — March 30, 2012 at 7:53 am

    I have my tried and true ATK version but I always love discovering new chocolate chip cookie recipes!

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    2
    Elizabeth — March 30, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Brown butter makes everything better!

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    In and Around Town — March 30, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I am pretty boring with chocolate chip cookies and stick with the recipe on the back of the bag, but the size of these and the twist on ingredients makes me want to give these a go!

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    4
    Mrs. Williams — March 30, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I use half the bag of chips too – I like them that way! 🙂 I might have to give this one a shot – I really liked the brown butter oatmeal chocolate chip I made last week.

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    Judy — March 30, 2012 at 9:40 am

    I love trying new ccc recipes also.  You don’t mention what the texture of the cookie is.  I like crispy edges and chewy centers, very hard to find.

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    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — March 30, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Well, I know what’s happening with the half block of cream cheese in my fridge just waiting to be used up! Cookies are in my future, score. 😉

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    Colleen — March 30, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I love adding sea salt to chocolate things! I haven’t tried it on chocolate chip cookies, but it sounds delicious.

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    Carrie's Sweet Life — March 30, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    These look awesome, I am still searching for the perfect recipe!

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    PB and Peppers — March 31, 2012 at 7:05 am

    The cookies sound amazing!  I love the addition of cream cheese!  CC is my favorite cookie and I am terrified to make them because I have no self control.  I love the dough and I love the cookie!!  

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    Megan — April 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    These sound like they take the best components of all my favorite cookies (browned butter, a sprinkling of sea salt) and merge them together.

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    11
    nicole @ I am a Honey Bee — April 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I always stick with Tollhouse cookies. I need to open my eyes to the wide world of chocolate chip cookies varieties out there!

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    12
    Courtney — April 15, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I made these today and they were fantastic–thanks for sharing the recipe! (*^_^*)

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    mega — May 16, 2012 at 9:16 am

    aahh this is recipe that i looking for to make choco chip cookies… thank you for post it 🙂

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    Kaila — January 4, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Made these but didn’t know you have to refrigerate the dough prior to baking hope they come out okay!

    • beantownbaker — January 5th, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

      They should still turn out ok. They might spread a bit more than mine do. Let me know how they come out!

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    15
    Arghavan — February 16, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Made these with the kiddies today and WOW! They are delicious! It made a lot of dough though (I made smaller cookies than the recipe called for), can I freeze the dough in small balls?

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    Jess — February 19, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Making these today! Can’t wait to see how it turns out. I have another great brown butter choc chip recipe but never tried with cream cheese. Thought I would share my tip for the sea salt…I love a salted cookie! I wait until the cookies have cooled 5 minutes before sprinkling, it’s not too hot that the salt sinks into the batter but not too cold that the salt just bounces off.

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