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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Oatmeal Brownie Bars

Pin ItOatmeal Brownie Bars | The Sweets Life
Oatmeal Brownie Bars 
I’m really really striving to live a bit more simply these days. We live in a world that constantly tells us we need more more more, but I’m making a sincere effort to ignore those voices and avoid a life of excess. I try to think twice before heading to the checkout with two shirts that are already similar to three I already own. I’m making a list before I go to Target and not allowing myself to stray from it (most of the time…). I’m only buying enough food to get us through the week and trying  not to let any of it go bad before we consume it.

I wish I could say I applied the same principle to these brownie oat bars. My intentions were pure. I made the pan of these and figured I’d keep a few and give the rest away. If there’s one thing I don’t need an excess of, it’s a pan full of butter and sugar! I made the recipe, cut them into small squares, and divided them into a few freezer bags, figuring I’d freeze them until it was time to give them away.

And then I tried one. And then another. And before I knew it, I had (admittedly, selfishly and excessively!) decided these weren’t leaving our house! The reason you only see one measly picture of them is because I was so smitten, I couldn’t be bothered to worry about capturing the perfect photograph. In my defense, I did share of few of them, but if I’m being honest, the majority of them were tucked away in my freezer where I enjoyed one or three as a guilty pleasure after putting Brecken to bed. I will absolutely be making these again, and I will absolutely (not?) be sharing them! They’re salty and sweet and absolutely perfect straight from the freezer!

Oatmeal Brownie Bars

for the oat layers-
-1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 cup rolled oats
-1 cup packed light brown sugar
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-2/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

for the brownie layer-
-1/3 cup unsalted butter
-3 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
-2 large eggs
-2 tbsp water
-1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the butter and mix with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside 1 1/4 cups of the mixture and press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
3. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack while you make the brownies.
4. To make the brownies, add the butter and chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment, until mixture is melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
5. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, whisking. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, water, and vanilla until well combined. Mix in chocolate/butter mixture and continue beating to combine.
6. With mixer on low, add flour mixture, mixing til combined. Spread brownie batter over oat crust, using a spatula to spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over brownie layer. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until edges are set. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
*I recommend storing in fridge. Bars also freeze well!

recipe seen on Bake or Break, from Land O'Lakes