Oatmeal Brownie Bars….for a roadtrip!

Last Memorial Day weekend, Sabrina was invited to spend the holiday with a friend at their family cabin up in Utah.

Now, when I hear the term “cabin”, it conjures an image in my head of a log-type, single story structure with one bathroom.

However, once Sabrina arrived at said  “cabin”, I was informed that this was, in fact, a 6 bedroom, 4 bathroom two story abode, with every modern convenience you can imagine. And then some…..

I stand corrected. 

But on Friday, as I watched her drive away with her girlfriend, I was suddenly overcome by an overwhelming sense of sadness. She’s never been away from me for longer than 48 hours…..sniff… and it was hard to absorb the reality that I wouldn’t see her again until Monday.

Monday?!

 ** sigh **

I headed home with a tear in my eye,  and as I opened the door to walk into the house, I found this fluffy bundle of fun waiting for me:

Dogs make the world a better place :)

In the days leading up to the trip, Sabrina and I planned/plotted…. we wanted to bake a tasty, portable treat that would be able to withstand the 4-5 hour drive the family was facing…  and eventually ended up taking a cue from this site (which is in dire need of updating – hint hint)…

These were exactly what we were looking for …easy to pack, and even easier to eat…. a crunchy oatmeal base, smooth brownie filling, and crumbly top - perfect!

Oatmeal Brownie Bars – adapted from Land O’ Lakes

Oatmeal Layer
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup uncooked oats
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold butter, cut into chunks

Brownie Layer
1/3 cup butter
3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all oatmeal layer ingredients in large bowl except butter. Cut in 2/3 cup butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 1/4 cups crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining crumbs into greased 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100% power), stirring twice, until chocolate is melted (30 to 60 seconds). Cool slightly.

Combine sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl; beat at medium speed until well mixed. Add melted chocolate mixture; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add 1 cup flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.

Drop chocolate mixture by tablespoonfuls over warm, partially baked crust. Carefully spread brownie layer evenly over crust; top with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are set. (DO NOT OVERBAKE.) Cool completely; cut into bars.

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