Every year I have the privilege of contributing some baked goods to the Brooklyn Blogger Bake Sale at the Brooklyn Flea, benefitting No Kid Hungry. For me, it's become one of the markers of spring. I get the email about the bake sale, and I know warm weather, trips to the park and Jane's Carousel, running in shorts, dining outdoors and all the other fun trappings of spring and summer are on the way.
Well, that bake sale is today -- and I just dropped off my contribution, these oatmeal fudge bars. I have made these before, but this time I did them differently. The aptly named company Divine Chocolates contributed to the bake sale by sending a few of us lucky bloggers some of their amazing chocolate and cocoa to use. Of the myriad selections they so generously sent, I chose to employ the 70% and 85% bittersweet chocolates in these bars. In the past I've used semisweet chocolate chips, and they were good -- but the fine quality of this chocolate and the darker, richer varieties took an already decadent bar and tossed it right over the top. But, as my friend and colleague Karen Tack says, More is more!
If you happen to be in beautiful Brooklyn today and can stop by the Flea, go get yourself some treats. I perused the table and there are many, many irresistible baked goods. One woman snatched a package of my bars right out of my hand, and added it to her stack of 5 or so other selections -- and that was at 9:30 this morning. Better hurry! :)
Or, make up a batch of these yourself, for your next bake sale or just for a treat. Use Divine chocolate if you can.
Oatmeal-Dark Chocolate Fudge Bars
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 cups quick-cooking oats (do not use instant)
16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
10 oz. 70% dark chocolate, chopped
2 oz. 85% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil; mist lightly with cooking spray.
2. Make crust: In a large bowl, toss together flour, baking soda, salt, brown sugar and oats. Stir in butter. Remove 2 1/2 cups of oat mixture and press evenly into bottom of pan. Reserve remaining topping.
3. Make filling: Combine condensed milk, both chocolates and salt in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture over crust; spread evenly. Crumble reserved oat mixture over filling.
4. Bake bars for 30 to 35 minutes, until just set and lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (I left it in the fridge overnight and it was really easy to cut the next morning). To cut, use foil overhang to remove bars from baking pan. Place on a cutting board, remove foil and cut into bars.