Chocolate Berry Oat Bars

Jul 29th

Averi had the most ridiculous tantrum Sunday night. We were swimming and when it was time to get out she got very upset that I was not willing to stop what I was doing and stand by the steps with the towel open so she could walk straight into it. Her crying lasted an hour. She thought she was the Diva of the house. Please and as if. I run this house. 🙂 So obviously Averi broke first. And then I get to punish her. This time it was no treats and loss of her iPad for a week.

Averi knows that I follow through on my punishments. And that to argue with me will just make it worse. Which is why the next day she behaved beautifully and gave me no arguments about anything. Including when we went to the donut shop with friends and she ate a banana while the rest of us had delicious donuts. After all, I had done nothing wrong and shouldn’t be punished. Especially when salted caramel cheesecake donuts are involved. Sooooo good. And because I am not heartless, I did let Averi have the last bite. 🙂

saltedcarameldonut

Since Averi is my child, though, one bite is not enough. She wants more. And because she is smart, she is devious. So she came to me in the afternoon and asked if we could bake together. Knowing that 1) I pretty much always say yes to us baking together and 2) she pretty much always gets to “sample” ingredients when we are baking and lick a few spoons. Not to mention her arms and sometimes her forearms, depending on how vigorously she stirs. 🙂

And I did say yes. Mainly because we had a lot of berries and I wanted to use some before they went bad. So I found a recipe on Inquiring Chef for Dark Chocolate, Raspberry and Oat Bars. They looked fantastic. I love chocolate and fruit together. Of course, I had to make substitutions based on what I had. So instead of dark chocolate I used semi-sweet chocolate chunks, and a mixture of blueberries and strawberries instead of raspberries.

The biggest change I made involved the sweetened condensed milk the recipe called for. Because I didn’t have any. But what I did have was a product that Michael had brought back from his last trip to Russia. He said they used it in coffee. I tried googling the name to see exactly what it was but my keyboard doesn’t make that inverted V. Or if it does, I don’t know how. But when I opened it the color and consistency seemed pretty similar to condensed milk, so I went with it. Luckily, it worked out.

russianmilk

The bars were delicious. Crumbly topping from the oats, smooth chocolate layer mixed with chunks of chocolate, and then the fruit. As much as I love chocolate, the fruit really was the star. It provided great bursts of flavor and a lightness that provided a nice contrast to the chocolate.

And Averi enjoyed licking the spoon and eating the one chocolate chunk I allowed her. 🙂

chocolate,berryoatbarraw
Chocolate Berry Oat Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 oz semi sweet chocolate chunks, divided.
  • 14 oz sweetened, condensed milk
  • 2 cups berry mix of your choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mix oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Add melted butter, and combine until all ingredients are wet and the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Set aside two cups of the oats mixture and press the remainder into a greased, 9x9 glass baking dish.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  6. Lower oven to 350.
  7. Melt 4 oz of the chocolate.
  8. Mix with the sweetened, condensed milk until combined.
  9. Spread over oat crust.
  10. Place fruit and remaining chocolate chunks over the chocolate layer.
  11. Sprinkle remaining two cups of oat mix over the fruit and chocolate.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes.
  13. Let cool completely and then refrigerate till the chocolate layer has set. Cut into bars and enjoy!
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