Snack time - Fudgey Oatmeal Bars

Do you hit the wall in the afternoon and suddenly need a snack to pick you up after the fall?  I know some of my co-workers head for a cup of coffee, but that isn't my thing.  I usually want something sweet to carry me through the rest of the afternoon.

What I don't want is to go and grab a candy bar from the sundry shop at my office.  Who needs the extra calories from something that generally doesn't satisfy anyway?

When I received the September issue of Cooking Light, I pulled out a page that was all about snacking.  Now, these snacks are not super low on sugar (CL doesn't currently break out the sugar in the nutrition breakdown, but the recipe I tried had 1/4 cup of brown sugar plus another cup of granulated sugar... ), but the calorie count is a bit lower than most of your typical candy bar options.

I decided to give the Fudgey Oatmeal Bars a try since they seemed simple enough and looked like they could satisfy a late day craving.

Fudgey Oatmeal Bars from @cookinglight September issue- serous fudgey-ness going on!

They were definitely easy to throw together on a weekend afternoon.  Simple ingredients, even though I did have to pick up the evaporated fat-free milk and the instant espresso granules.  I think it was worth it.

One downside to making the recipe as written is that the crust came out too crumbly.  I think just a smudge more canola oil or perhaps another tablespoon of melted butter would help it hold together a bit better.  My Husband could have done without the crust all together.

They were definitely fudgey and something I'd make again - only 172 calories when cut into 28 pieces... but, I think I may have gotten a few more bars than that.  They are rich, so having a smaller piece is equally satisfying.

Fudgey Oatmeal Bars

Recipe by Adapted from Cooking Light September 2013

To prepare the crust:
  • 4.5 ounces flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (perhaps bump this up to 1/3 cup) canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3.4 ounces all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
To prepare the filling:
  • 3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso granules
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • cooking spray
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat ove to 350 degrees. Coat a glass 11x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Prepare crust by combining flour, oats, brown sugar and baking soda in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  3. Add the canola oil and melted butter; then toss together with a fork until the mixture is dampened and becomes crumbly. If it is too dry, add a little more oil to help the mixture come together.
  4. Set aside about 3/4 cup of the flour mixture for later. Press the remaining flour mixture into the bottom of the glass baking dish. Bake for about 12-13 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool while making the filling.
  5. To prepare the filling, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  6. In another bowl, combine the milk and espresso granules; mixing until the espresso granules are dissolved. Next, add the oil, butter vanilla and eggs and stir with a whisk until fully combined. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips, ensuring that they are well distributed. Spread the batter over the top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the remaining flour/oat mixture over the top of the batter.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes - or until a toothpick comes out with slightly moist crumbs on it.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.


Joanne said…
If I'm having a snack in the afternoon, it had better be seriously worth it and these definitely do not disappoint!
RecipeGirl said…
Oh my gosh, that's a long list of ingredients, but I totally want to try these!
Patsyk said…
Lori - I thought the same thing at first, but since it's broken up between the crust and the filling it's not as bad as it seems! Totally worth it in the end. :)
Katie said…
These sound amazing!!!!
Marye said…
Chocolate? I'm in!
Sandy Smith said…
Wow! These look so good.
Shelby said…
I would choose this over a candy bar anyday too!
Renee Paj said…
I would totally make these and eat them. I'm impressed with the stats and the sugar content too. TBH, I have found a lot of the cooking light baking recipes a bit too sweet for my liking. Pinning this so I can make it sometime!

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