Oct 17, 2013

Chewy Cocoa & Oatmeal Bars with Peanut Buttery Milk Chocolate Topping

These bars are based off of a recipe I came across for Oh’Henry Bars.  After doing a big of research on the O-bars…I realized the two are not even close. 
Let’s recap.
Oh’Henry Bars:
Awesomeness of peanuts, caramel, AND fudge covered in Milk Chocolate.  I mean come on look at it…even Superman’s willpower couldn’t deny inhaling that one.
So I changed the name to the recipe I found, added some Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa and tweaked the recipe slightly.  And the results?  Oh damn these ones are good too.  Maybe not as close to perfection as the Oh’Henry Bar, but as close as one can get in a domestic kitchen.  And don’t they look healthy?!  They are soooo not, but just sayin’.  Look at all those healthy oats, how could you feel guilty eating oats?!  Just tell yourself you’re snacking on a granola bar.  But like a really fantastic peanut buttery chocolate one. 
Chewy Cocoa & Oatmeal Bars with Peanut Buttery Milk Chocolate Topping
Makes about 15 bars
For the Bars:
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa 
For the Topping:
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine oats, brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand-up mixer (hand mixer is okay too). 
Sift in the cocoa.
*Always be sure to sift your cocoa to remove lumps like these.  Gently push them through the sieve.
Mix on medium until thoroughly combined.
Transfer and press mixture to a 9x13 pan that has been greased well (I used spray Pam but shortening or butter would also work). 
Bake for 12 minutes and remove from oven.  Let cool for about 15 minutes.
To prepare the topping, combine the peanut butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for one minute. 
Remove and stir. If you’re mixture is still quite lumpy, heat again for 10 seconds.  Remove and stir until no lumps remain and the mixture is smooth.  *If you still have remaining chocolate pieces in the bowl, continue to heat on 10 second intervals stirring after each until topping is smooth.  Be careful not to over-heat as the chocolate can burn easily in the microwave.
Pour topping over the slightly cooled bars and let cool on the counter for about 15 minutes.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until topping has completely hardened, about 1-2 hours.  Cut into bars and enjoy! 
Bars adapted from allrecipes.com

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