|Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Bars|
In the spirit of full disclosure, these weren’t my favorite dessert bars. WAIT—before you click out of the site, hear me out. They may not have been my favorite, but only because my expectations were in the wrong place. In my mind, dessert is always caloric and indulgent, full of (for better or worse) butter and sugar. These definitely err on the side of ‘healthy desserts’ in that they make use of whole wheat flour and slightly less butter than what you’ll usually find in a pan of blondies. If you’re expecting dense, gooey dessert bars, make these instead. However, if you want something a little heartier with a firmer texture, you’ll like these. They’re actually great dipped in milk or crumbled atop ice cream, but they’d also be a great healthy-ish dessert to throw into your kid’s lunchbox.
It’s like going to the movies expecting to see a comedy and finding out it’s a drama instead. It’s not bad, it’s just different than what you were going for so you were a little thrown off. In this case, I’m telling you ahead of time that you’re seeing the drama, not the comedy, so you know exactly what you’re getting and should be totally satisfied! Or, for a dramatic comedy, scrap the whole wheat flour in favor of white flour or toss in a few extra tablespoons of butter!
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-1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 cup walnuts
-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
-3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
-1 cup old-fashioned oats
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-6 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with foil and grease with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Place walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in preheat oven for 5-7 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly before coarsely chopping. Set aside and keep oven at 350F.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, oats, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
4. In a separate bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla.
5. Mix in the flour mixture on low before folding in the chocolate and walnuts. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, until set in middle and an inserted toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
6. Allow pan to cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars. Bars can be stored at room temperature for 3 days or frozen for longer.
from Williams Sonoma