By Kevin Williams
I wrote about the "Trail Mix Bar" disaster that Aster and I experienced recently. I didn't like seeing her so disappointed in our dessert, so I decided to make it up to her with these Heavenly Oatmeal Bars. What would be easy, delicious, and a little different fro your garden variety peanut butter/chocolatey type bar? I racked my brain and then I remember Gloria wrote about a bar in one of her columns a couple of years ago. A cousin of hers introduced her to this recipe and they really are "heavenly"....I think it is the layer of "filling" in the middle that really makes these shine.
Aster and I went to work on this recipe and it turned out to be very easy. She was smitten with just the batter, with no eggs in the recipe I let her have a spoonful to sample before pressing into the pan and, wow, that little wooden spoon of batter kept her busy for about 10 minutes as she meticulously licked every last crumb off and said "Wow, I like this Dada. This is good, Dada!"
This is an easy to make and worth it. My only tip is don't forget to reserve 1 1 /2 cups of the batter. Perhaps if you don't have a 2-year-old with you trying to do everything at once you won't get distracted like I did I forgot to reserve it and realized my mistake about 7 minutes into the baking. So I pulled it out of the oven, did some "emergency surgery" and extracted a 1 ½ of partially cooked batter. It all turned out fine, but it probably would have looked a bit better had I not made that error. Anyway, enjoy!
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup butter
- ½ cup coconut (optional)
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup M & M’s
- Mix batter ingredients until crumbly.
- Reserve 1 ½ cups crumbs
- Press remaining crumbs into a 9 x 13” pan.
- Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
- Mix together filling ingredients.
- Spread on baked crust.
- Sprinkle on top of peanut butter mixture.
- Spread reserved crumbs on top.
- Bake an additional 20 minutes or until golden brown