These Nutty Chocolate Oat Bars have a nutty oat crust and a rich chocolate filling!
I can feel myself starting to slow down.
It started with rolling over in bed. It took effort, special tricks, and a little groaning. Next came the switch from running to walking when I’m out for my nightly exercise. Now it’s hard to get up off the couch, I’m making my trips to the floor count when I bend over, and I’m not sure I’ll continue prenatal yoga because it’s hurting my back.
This is all bad news because I still have quite a ways to go in this pregnancy. Sixteen weeks feels simultaneously long and short. There’s still so much I want to get done before the baby comes, and if I feel myself slowing down that means I need to get to work. Wait, that doesn’t make any sense, does it?
I might have spent the last week stress eating these nutty chocolate oat bars instead of getting anything done. Pregnancy hormones, I tell you, are no joke. Now I’m eating veggie sandwiches for lunch and slipping just one of these out of the freezer for a treat afterwards. Balance? I like to think so.
I shared a similar recipe in my early days of blogging. This recipe really stands the test of time, so I figured it would be good to give it a little rebirth. Finely chopped pecans add the perfect toothsome chew to these bars as well as adding protein (which makes them dinner, right??).
With the oats and white whole wheat flour these bars would probably qualify as health food in my book if it weren’t for the rich, gooey layer of chocolate that simply can’t be beat. It all works so well together in a sweet/salty/chocolate/crunchy kind of way.
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Nutty Chocolate Oat Bars
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
- 1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, or a mixture of both
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch salt
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 3/4 cup butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add the egg, yolk, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and beat again.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, 1/4 cup nuts, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Add to the egg mixture in two or three parts, beating just until incorporated each time.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir over low heat until smooth. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon vanilla and remaining 3/4 cup nuts. Remove from the heat.
- Pat two thirds of the oat mixture into the prepared baking pan so that it covers the bottom. Pour the chocolate mixture over the top and spread it out evenly. Take the remaining dough and dot it over the chocolate. Bake 25 minutes or until the cookie top is just beginning to brown. Let cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving.