Friday, August 31, 2012

Chocolate-Orange Oat Squares

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This wonderfully easy cookie takes a few ingredients and transforms them into a confection that is a sweet lover's dream. I found the recipe for the squares several years ago and I use it whenever I need a treat that is portable and can withstand the crowding and jostling of a picnic hamper. The recipe has been around for a while, and, as near as I can tell, it first appeared in a Reiman Publication in 2002. The cookie is a bit like a carmelita, but while these rich and sweet bars disappear as quickly, they are much easier to make. Over time, I've made a change or two to the recipe. I thought the original version contained too much salt and needed something to cut through the richness of the chocolate. I reduced the salt by 1/2 teaspoon and added orange zest to the filling. I also cut back on the size of the squares I serve to family and friends. If you love a sweet treat, I know you'll enjoy these bars. You'll find they'll disappear as quickly as they're made. Here's the recipe.

Chocolate-Orange Oat Squares...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Reiman Publications

1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, softened, divided use
2 cups packed light or golden brown sugar
2 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided use
3 cups quick-cooking oats
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt, divided use
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1) In a large bowl, cream 1 cup butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Combine oats, flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt and baking soda and gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Press two-thirds of oat mixture into a greased 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan.
2) In a large saucepan, combine milk, chocolate chips, salt and remaining butter. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; stir in walnuts, orange zest and remaining vanilla. Spread over the crust. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Yield: 4 dozen.

One Year Ago Today: Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chippers

Two Years Ago Today: Warm Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Lemon-Tarragon Dressing

Three Years Ago Today: Creamy Winter Squash Soup


Eileen said...

Yum. I love a bit of orange with my chocolate. These look great.

Princy Vinoth said...

Yummy cookies.these look good!love the combi orange and chocolate.

Katarina said...

Orange and chocolate goes well together! This is a great recipe, thanks!

Cherine said...

those cookies look wonderful. A very healthy treat!

Diane said...

Mmm I really like the sound of these, great combination of flavours. Have a good day Diane

Priya Sreeram said...

all yummy flavours in one- nice recipe

Alessandra said...

You know what Mary? I always thought that the oath slices i tried so far where missing something, and now I know what it is: chocolate!

Have a good weekend


Kim said...

This looks like a real real treat. Definitly a recipe I'm gonna try as I love the combination of orange and chocolate!

Unknown said...

These look divine, Mary! I love the chocolate-orange combination!

Salsa Verde said...

Hi Mary,
What an amazing array of flavours you have in this recipe. They looks so scrumptious that y mouth is watering and my tummy is rumbling...
Cheers and hope you have a fantastic weekend,

Priya Suresh said...

Irresistible squares,feel like grabbing some.

Angie's Recipes said...

I love the texture and flavours of these cookie bars.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Oh yum, Mary! Another delicious treat from your kitchen. This flavor combo sounds perfect.

Vicki Bensinger said...

These cookies sound wonderful and with sweetened condensed milk makes them even better. I've never seen this recipe but now that I have I will definitely try them next time I am in the mood for chocolate chip cookie. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Jane said...

mmmm looks delish!

France@beyondthepeel said...

These look absolutely sinful. I have no doubt they disappear quickly.

Joanne said...

That big chunk of chocolate in the center of these looks amazing!

tender b. said...

Those look great. The pairing of orange and chocolate is something I never imagined I would like until I gave it a try.

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