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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13 Responses to “Alton Brown’s “The Chewy””

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    1
    Bridget — March 5, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Aren’t they the best? They’re so addicting. I’ve actually starting using the same ingredients, but mixing them like a more traditional chocolate chip cookie (i.e., softened butter instead of melted), because I like the dough better with softened butter. The baked cookies were just as good. Best of both worlds!

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    2
    Laure — March 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    These look gorgeous. Don’t you just love AB??? 🙂

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    3
    Julie — March 6, 2009 at 4:06 am

    The cookies look great. I love AB too..he’s such a dork (in a good way).

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    CoCo — March 6, 2009 at 5:50 am

    I love the ATK/CI Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I will have to try these to see what I think. I remember seeing that the recipes looked similar so I am sure I will love them.
    Another AB lover here. My husband gives me a hard time about my DVR list with him but loves it when I give him a fun tidbit or cook him something from AB.

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    5
    Jen — March 6, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I completely agree CoCo. Hubby does the same thing. I sometimes even watch episodes I’ve seen before! Hubby doesn’t like to admit it, but he loves AB too. Sometimes he’ll be the one saying “AB says to do this…”

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    foodess — March 9, 2009 at 3:38 am

    They look SO good!! I am a sucker for a chewy chocolate chip cookie. Although, I must side with your hubby – I prefer mine with just a bit of chocolate.

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    Naomi — March 9, 2009 at 6:46 am

    How much is a stick of butter? I’m not in the US and have never come across this measurement before.

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    Jen — March 9, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Sorry about that Naomi – 1 stick of butter = 8 Tbsp. Does that help?

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    Dani — March 9, 2009 at 11:46 am

    this is very similar to the ccc recipe i use, but anything that makes it chewier is good in my books! i will have to keep this one in mind 🙂

  10. #
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    Naomi — March 13, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Yes Jen, thank you!

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    Allie — June 2, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Yum! I will definitely be trying these. I always chill my cookie dough too usually because I’m too busy with 3 little ones but I also read that article in the NY times awhile ago and I felt like I deserved a nice big pat on the back for always doing the 24hour chill 🙂 Great post and beautiful cookies!

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    Susan — June 23, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    I love Alton Brown because of his scientific approach to cooking and baking. I’ve been baking “The Chewy” for years. One thing I do differently: Before chilling the dough, I scoop it into balls. This makes the process much easier. Sometimes I freeze the balls for baking later. After I place the balls on parchment, I carefully place a few extra chocolate morsels on top, pointy side up. This extra step produces picture-perfect cookies every time.

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    13
    Desiree — July 2, 2016 at 1:56 am

    The Chewy is my go to recipe for cookies. I make a few alterations, occasionally, such as substituting 1/4 of the brown sugar with dark brown sugar. I bake small portions in mini muffin tins; one batch makes 48 cookie bites that are super chewy and the perfect size bite. I’ve made them every year for Christmas gifts for a few years now.

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