Can you believe it's December already? My life is slipping away. I'm pretty much convinced that I am middle aged right now, based on life-experience-speed.
See, when you're a kid, life moves so unbearably slowly. There are years between birthdays. You've been in 3rd grade forever. You can't even remember the last time you had ice cream.
Somewhere around high school, time picks up, and before you know it, you're applying to colleges. You're on the brink of adult life. There's no catching up now.
I am now 24; I've been out of college for almost a year, but it seems like only a few months. And in this year, I've lived in 4 of the 5 boroughs of New York City, planned a wedding, gone through with it, moved to Georgia....and here I am now, married FOUR MONTHS and trying to figure out what to do with my life before it gets up and leaves me!
Hence, I am middle aged. I'm pretty sure that the entire rest of my life will take about as long to live as the first 24 years. TWENTY-FOUR!!!!!
Oh wait, you say you're here for baked goods?
Well, here you go....OAT FUDGE BARS!!!
A local coffee shop in Blacksburg, VA, sold super amazing oat fudge bars that helped me through each and every final...and I made it my collegiate mission to crack the recipe. I was very scientific about it, taking notes on every batch I made, and I must say that this one is very, very close.
You'll find similar recipes for oat and chocolate bars, but the chocolate part always lacks the key ingredient: cocoa powder. It's essential to achieving the fudginess that makes these things so darn phenomenal.
I also use regular oatmeal, not the quick-cooking kind. I like the texture better. Also, I like to pretend these things are healthy. I haven't heard otherwise, and I'm not going to bother asking.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
2.5 cup AP flour
3 cup oats
2 T butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 oz sweetened condensed milk (so I basically just pour out a 15 oz can and don't worry about scraping the sides.)
2/3 c cocoa powder
Preheat to 350.
You know the drill: Mix the dry ingredients (minus oats), set aside. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth. Mix in the dry ingredients, then stir in the oats.
Make the fudge:
Melt the chocolate with the SC milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often. When the chocolate mixture is smooth, add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. (add it a little at a time, and if it looks like it's getting too dark and thick for you, then you can stop whenever. Really, any cocoa powder is better than no cocoa powder.)
Press 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of a greased pan. You can use different dimensions depending on how thick you want your bars to be. I used a 9x9 pan, but you could easily use a 9x13.
Scoop the fudge mixture on top of the oats and smooth.
Drop the rest of the oat mixture on top, pieces at a time, until it looks like this:
Then bake at 350 for about 30 min, until golden brown on top. Don't over bake- the fudge will set as it cools.
Good for breakfast, lunch, dinner and anytime in between.