So my dessert consumption is always ridiculously high, but during midterm and final exam seasons...whoa. Watch out. For example, these cookies ended up being my lunch the day I made them. No joke. I'm serious, folks...serious about my dessert around times of stress, that is. And these Fudge Nut Bars do just the trick for any exam stress that you may have. Yessir, it will take those heart palpitations right away.
Now, I have always been a fan of crumble. I just don't know what it is...is it the cookie like texture? Maybe. Could it be the brown sugary goodness surrounding each crumbly morsel? Perhaps. Or is it the oatmeal that makes me feel healthy inside, yet oh so naughty, thanks to the massive amounts of butter mixed in? Mayhaps. Whatever it is, whatever the reason, I was craving crumble this week, and oh, did crumble I receive. Not only are these cookies fudgy, but they are fudge cookies with oatmeal cookie crumble. And then to top it all off, these are bar cookies...only the greatest form of cookie known to man-kind. :)
So the exams are tomorrow, and I really should be sleeping right now, but I just couldn't sleep. And when one cannot sleep, one must blog. So off to the kitchen I went to photograph my beauties. And to "clean up" the 13x9 pan a bit with Anita. :)
I will definately be making these bars again, and I probably will play around with the recipe a bit. For next time, I'm thinking of peanut butter cookie dough for the crust and crumble, and Resee's Pieces mixed into the fudge instead of walnuts. The question is if that will be too much peanut butter. Nahhh, not at all. :) And I'm thinking for Christmas, a white chocolate crust and crumble might be delicious with peppermint extract whipped into the fudge layer.
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
12 oz. pkg. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate morsels (I like the Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix to combine (just until the flour disappears into the batter.) Stir in the rolled oats; set aside while you make filling.
Combine in a heatproof bowl the chocolate pieces, sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Melt these ingredients together, using either the double boiler method (set the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water) or in the microwave (cook in 30-second increments, stirring after each until the chocolate is melted.) Whichever method you use, stir the mixture occasionally until the chocolate pieces are melted and mixture is smooth; remove from heat and stir in nuts and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Spread about 2/3 of the cookie dough (that you had previously set aside) over the bottom of greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Cover with the fudge filling. Drop chunks of the remaining cookie dough in pieces over the filling. Bake in a 350 degree oven 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan, cut into small bars.