Mix up a batch of these homemade chocolate chip oatmeal bars for a sweet after-school treat, birthday cake, or summer barbecue dessert!
I realized this past week that the only thing worse than running out of an ingredient mid-mix is running out of an ingredient mid-mix right after you got home from the grocery store. The amount of times I’ve been too lazy to check the flour/sugar canisters before going to the store only to come home and realize they’re actually gone is alarming. You would think that I’d check such things when I make a grocery run for chocolate chips, but no, that’s clearly too much work for me to check the stock beforehand. It’s much easier to just avoid the truth and pretend I am incapable of running out of powdery baking necessities.
Except for the fact that it’s not easier when you find yourself out of flour mid-mix and suddenly you have a bowl of half-made cookie dough that you don’t dare to throw away but the thought of going to the store AGAIN is just too much to handle. So what does one do in this time of great distress? Find the only grain left in the cupboard, toss it in the food processor and dump it in the dough hoping it can maybe replace those 2 cups of flour and bake up to be something edible. So yeah, that happened over here this past week.
Luckily, in my case things turned out well in the end but let me tell ya, I had my doubts. After realizing I only had 1/2 cup of flour left in the canister, I blended up some oatmeal and poured that homemade oat flour right into that lonely bowl of half-mixed cookie dough. Unlike regular all-purpose flour, oat flour doesn’t absorb as well into cookie dough so I quickly realized that I needed to add some actual oatmeal to help absorb the liquids in order to make it into a workable cookie dough consistency. At first I thought I could get away with just the oat flour, but thought what the heck, let’s just see if this last 1/2 cup of actual all-purpose flour does any good so I dumped that in too. Turns out that’s just what it needed to get the dough consistency correct and into the oven it went. (I did do a test batch with just oat flour and oats and although it works, the texture is a little different than I like it but it’s definitely doable.)
(Sidenote: is my rambling making any sense? I’m not sure it is and I apologize.)
What I love about these chocolate chip oatmeal bars it that the amount of oat flour & oatmeal in them make them super chewy and delicious. Plus, I’m trying to convince myself that 3 cups of oatmeal qualifies these bars as wholesome granola bars. Basically like eating a healthy breakfast. We’ll just forget about the sugar in them and live our lives in bliss, mmkay?
I baked these in a 9″ round pan in order to get a thick bar, but also because it was the first clean pan I found (let’s be honest here). You could also try these in a 9×13 pan, although I would guess they would lose some of their dense chewiness if made into thinner bars.
After baking, cut these into slices or bars and grab a glass of milk! I found these to be best gooey and warm, but they’re also pretty good after a day or two if you store them in an airtight container.
- 8 tablespoons 1 stick butter (not margarine)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats ground (make by placing oats in food processor)
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats whole (straight from the container, not pulverized)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave for 30-40 seconds until JUST melted. You do not want the butter piping hot. Remove from microwave.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until combined. While mixer is on low speed, add in vanilla, egg, salt, and baking soda. Mix until just combined.
- While mixer is on low speed, first add in ground oats then whole oats (oats that have not been ground). Once incorporated, add in all-purpose flour and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Grease a 9x9 round pain with with cooking spray.
- Press the cookie dough mixture into the pan and use hands (or spatula) to flatten the dough until it covers all the corners of the pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes, or until fork comes out clean.
- Allow bars to cool before cutting. To serve, carefully cut the bars in squares or slices with a sharp knife.
To make oat flour, place old-fashioned oats (I use these) in food processor.
Have you ever run out of ingredient while mixing something and improvised the missing ingredient for something else? What was it? Tell me in the comments below so we can all bask in our unpreparedness like the flawed, dessert loving humans that we are.