Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Almond Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Yesterday, while waiting to get ready for the benefit I was going to, I started pondering things I was dying to bake.  I realized I just HAD to make a chocolate ooey gooey fudgy bar.  Given my current obsession with almonds I decided that the two had to be incorporated- almonds and chocolate ooey gooey= Ooey Gooey Chocolate Almond Oatmeal Fudge Bars. These are definitely those bars that you make when you have a good amount of time to spare because there are a couple of steps. But trust me, the final product is well worth it.


Oatmeal Almond Bottom:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
-1/3 cup sugar
- 8 tablespoons butter (cut into small pieces)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
-1/2 cup oatmeal

Chocolate Almond Topping:
- 1 and 1/2 cup chocolate chips
-1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/3 cup almond butter
(extra almond butter for swirl)

The steps are pretty easy, especially for the base:
1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
2) In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, almond extract, oatmeal and butter
3) With an electric mixer, mix until small pebble like circles have formed
4) In an 11 1/2 inch X 7 1/2 inch, pam-ed, pan, spread the mixture on the bottom evenly.
* Note this will seem quite dry
5) Place this in the oven for approximately 25 min (checking often), until the base begins to turn golden brown.
6) Take out and let cool.

For the Chocolate Topping:
7) In a sauce pan place water and let heat up (not a boil)
8) Add the butter and mix until almost entirely melted
9) Add chocolate chips and mix until a syrupy chocolate sauce has formed
10) Take off the burner and add vanilla, flour, and cocoa powder
* This mixture should be frosting thick.
11) Add almond butter and mix thoroughly.

To Combine:
12) Once the base has mostly cooled, spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the base.
* if you dont wait for the base to have cooled it will crumb into the chocolate while you are trying to spread it.
13) Place back in the oven for 5 min, to allow the chocolate top and crumb oatmeal base to merge
14) Remove and with a fork dipped in almond butter, swirl almond butter evenly over the chocolate top (optional)
15) Sprinkle shredded almonds on top to add extra crunch and almond flavoring
16) Place in the fridge for 3 to 5 hours before cutting to allow mixture to completely solidify.

Note: These bars are very very rich so you can cut them into small pieces and they will satisfy your craving in just a couple of bites!

Star Fabulous Rating: 6/10 (much higher if your a big chocolate person, my taste tester was not a giant chocolate lover but still enjoyed!)

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