Bar Cookies

Strawberry Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

Necessity……it’s the mother of invention.

Or, in another way of looking at it, it’s what happens when your scatterbrain doesn’t work properly and you find yourself without the ingredients you thought you had.

Case in point: I thought I purchased a can of dulce de leche, to make Chocolate Oatmeal Carmelita bars.

However, what I actually purchased was a can of sweetened condensed milk. Of course, I didn’t realize this until I was 3/4 of the way through my recipe and looked at the can.

duuuuuuuhhhhhhhh

So quick, imaginative thinking came into play.

Try not to laugh too hard at that statement 🙂

I started rummaging around the fridge and pantry, furtively scanning the shelves in an attempt to make something with the dough that I now had sitting in the mixer.

I found a jar of strawberry jam and inspiration hit me.

Although these are quite spectacular in their original format with dulce de leche and chocolate chips, I must admit we found them just as delectable in the improvised format. Because honestly, I’m not crazy about fruit/chocolate combined, however these weren’t overwhelmingly tipped to one extreme or the other.

I’d definitely like to make them again using the pineapple mango jam I found recently……but I do think that will necessitate leaving out the chocolate.

Me? Leave out chocolate? Hmmmmmmm…….

Strawberry Chocolate Oatmeal Bars – adapted from Food and Wine

3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
One 14-ounce can dulce de leche (or strawberry jam)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda. Add the butter, oats and brown sugar and mix until combined. (Use an electric mixer for this, it’ll be a lot easier!)

Pat half of the oat mixture into the baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Scatter half of the chocolate chips over the crust. Dollop half of the dulce de leche mixture on top. (If you’re using jam, I recommend putting it all in the middle, otherwise it might burn during the baking process) Crumble the remaining oat mixture evenly into the pan. Cover with the remaining chocolate chips and dulce de leche. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the edges are set. Let stand uncovered at room temperature overnight. Cut into bars and serve.

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