Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Bars
Last weekend I blogged about budget friendly Autumn Spice Truffles. As I mentioned at the time, my original idea had been to post my Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Bars. Even though I struck gold with these incredible treats, the bottom line is that they are not, exactly, budget friendly.
It’s not that they are over-the-top expensive because they are not. It’s just that between the dried cherries, thick cut oats and mini chocolate chips, Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Bars did not quite fit the budget friendly bill.
I only recently discovered thick cut oats and that was by accident. I was in the process of creating a banana-peanut butter-apple sandwich and decided to coat the outside of the bread with oats. As I was wondering the grocery store aisle, I came across thick cut oats in the organic section and tried them. WOW!
They worked incredibly well on the sandwich and I love what they do to the Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Bars. If you can’t get thick cut oats, believe me, your dessert will still be delicious. They add a heartier consistency that pairs so nicely with the dried cherries and mini chocolate chips but the original oats still produce a bar you won’t want to stop eating.
It, also, doesn’t hurt that the shortbread crust of the Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Bars is the perfect balance of sweetness for the flavorful topping.
I know that some of the ingredients are not, necessarily, considered dietary but in my mind anytime I add oats to a recipe it bumps the dessert up just a smidgeon on the ‘healthy’ scale. Something you can ponder while eating a couple of Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Bars.
|Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Bars|| |
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, divided
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup thick cut oats
- ⅔ cup dried cherries, chopped
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
- For the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Line an 8” x 8” baking pan with aluminum foil. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and brush the aluminum foil with them butter. Set aside.
- Beat 8 tablespoons of butter with the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Blend in the flour.
- Transfer to the prepared pan. Press the dough, evenly, into the pan.
- Bake at 350° for 25 minutes, rotating the pan front to back halfway through.
- For the topping:
- While the crust is baking, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- Beat together the eggs and sugar until light in color. Add the vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture followed by the oats.
- Remove from the mixer and fold in the dried cherries and mini chocolate chips.
- Pour the topping over the crust. Gently spread it over the crust.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, rotating the pan front to back halfway through.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan.
- Once the bars are cool, lift the aluminum foil out of the pan and transfer it to a cutting board. Cut into 16 bars, wiping the knife clean after each cut.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- Thick cut oats are incredible in Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Bars but if you can’t find them, substitute original oats instead. Do not use instant oats.