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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14 Responses to “Samoas Bars”

  1. #
    1
    thecookingnurse — May 7, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Those look so good, now we don’t have to wait unitl the GS are selling there cookies again 🙂

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    bakinandeggs — May 7, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Yum! They look delicious and your pictures are great.

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    3
    Erin — May 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I made these a while back and loved them too! It’s nice to be able to make your own any time you want!

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    4
    Memória — May 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Beautiful photos. You did an awesome job on these.

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    5
    bcallegra — May 7, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    I’m so glad you made these! I noticed these on another blog and had them on my “to make” list. Your pictures may motivate me to make them this weekend!

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    6
    Ingrid — May 7, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    They look terrific and I’ve never been one to eat girl scout cookies.
    ~ingrid

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    7
    Joelen — May 8, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Now these look amazing!! Great job!

  8. #
    8
    finsmom — May 8, 2009 at 3:33 am

    Ive been wanting to make these – they look crazy tasty!
    Thanks for sharing! Yum!

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    9
    Mermaid Sweets — May 8, 2009 at 6:06 am

    Great job – my hubby’s hoping I will give these a go.

  10. #
    10
    Stephanie Wagner — May 8, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Samoas are my favorite too! I’m totally making some this weekend!!

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    11
    Colleen — May 8, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    What a great way to enjoy Samoas when there are no cookies left!

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    12
    bakersbakery — May 11, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Yum!

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    13
    Hanaâ — May 12, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    These look great!! Although I don’t eat coconut, I’ll have to make them for my hubby and coworkers sometime.

    Not sure if you got my email last weekend but I was wondering if you know of any must-visit bakeries or eateries in Boston. We will be vacationing in Boston in a couple weeks. Thanks!!!

    Hanaa

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    14
    Hanaâ — May 16, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks for emailing me, Jen. I emailed you back to the address you gave me. Hopefully that worked :o)

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