Monday, January 26, 2009

Chewy-Gooey Bars

The hubby and I were both hungry for chocolate tonight, but I’m too sleepy to stay awake and bake cookies, so we made a quick pan of bars. Bars are a Midwestern staple. Everyone’s got bar recipes up their sleeves, and this one is the hubby’s.

On par with “pizza” and “chili,” we just call these “bars” (or sometimes “Jenni’s bars” if we’re feeling especially descriptive). But we needed something a bit more illuminating for the blog. So now these aren’t just regular old bars; they’re chewy-gooey bars. (Or was it gooey-chewy? Crap.)

The hubby makes these bars perfectly; compared to him, I’m a hack. I use a pastry blender to mix the crumbly dough, because that’s faster than using a fork. I always set aside too much crumble for the topping. Because I like-a the crumble-a. And I don’t individually position each chocolate chip, so you get a precisely even number of chocolate chips per bite. Yessiree, life's a gamble with my method; you never know how many chocolate chips you’ll get.

They usually turn out in spite of all this.

Chewy-Gooey Bars
Serves 16

1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1½ c. quick oats
1¼ c. flour
1 egg
½ c. butter (1 stick)

1 12-oz. bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, soda, oats, and flour. Add egg and butter, and combine mixture using a pastry blender or two forks.

3. Press about 2/3 the mixture in a 9x13 pan.

4. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top, and then drizzle sweetened condensed milk over chips.

5. Sprinkle with reserved crust mixture.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crust is golden. Let cool slightly before cutting.

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