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Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

Both rolled oats and whole-wheat flour give a rustic texture to these chocolate-studded dessert bars, reminiscent of oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies. Long and slender, they are perfectly shaped for dipping into a tall glass of milk. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. plus 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil and lightly grease the foil with the 2 tsp. butter.

Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, then chop coarsely; set aside. Leave the oven set at 350°F.


In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, oats, baking powder and salt; set aside.


In another large bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the 12 Tbs. butter and the brown sugar until light and well blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla.


Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or beat on low speed with the electric mixer until just combined. Stir in the chocolate and walnuts.


Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking dish. Bake until the top is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the bar cool completely in the pan. Use the edges of the foil to lift the bar out of the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into 24 bars. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes 24 bars.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy in a Hurry, by Karen Ansel, MS, RD and Charity Ferreira (Weldon Owen, 2011).