I went to college at a really (really) small college in my hometown of Salem, Oregon. I like to think I got a lot out of my college experience, including but not limited to: lifelong friends, critical thinking skills, a deep and abiding love for traveling to new places, an expanded worldview, a new set of epistemological assumptions, and of course, Mr. Peach.
And while I hold all of these things as important, perhaps the most critical takeaway from my college experience were the “Bars Bars” that the little coffee shop on campus made and sold by the sheet pan. Given that I never worked there, I can’t even remember how I came to possess the ultra secret recipe for what is basically just an oatmeal fudge bar. But I did.
This is not that recipe.
For one thing, the actual recipe made about 500 bars and didn’t scale down without getting WEIRD. Like splitting an egg in half weird. Like 3/8 cup of stuff weird.
For another, I’m not comfortable spilling top secret recipes over the interwebs, especially when I lay no claim to them (other than having eaten a bajillion Bars Bars in the 4 years it took me to graduate).
These Oatmeal Fudge Bars are very similar, though.
I like these bars best when they are cold, right out of the fridge. They get super chewy and delicious.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1½ cups packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (all purpose works, too)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3½ cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 7 ounces (half a can) of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars on medium speed until completely incorporated. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium-high for a few minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, and salt. Slowly add to the butter mixture, beating on lowest speed to combine. Add the oats and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt together the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, butter, and vanilla. Stir together until completely combined.
- Line and grease a 13 by 9 inch pan. Press about ¾ of the dough into an even layer in the pan. Spread the fudge over the top in an even layer. Crumble and scatter the remaining dough over the top of the fudge.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.