Hi all. I'm back this week, sort of. Took a few days off from really even trying to do any work on my Project That Will Not End, to redo my bed and order and hang pictures in the townhouse I've already been living in for 5 months. Perhaps I'll say more about that later. For now, we have a TWD recipe to report on, and yea, it was good.
I was giving this recipe the side-eye. I am not usually a big fan of "junk food on top of junk food, infused with more junk and glazed with junk" type creations, and that's what this sounded like: oatmeal and peanuts and brown sugar sandwiching chocolate chips and raisins and peanuts. That is mighty busy for the kid. I decided to make a half recipe, and would have cut it to a quarter recipe had I had the correct size pan.
Anyway. Pulling it together was pretty easy. The dough was nice and non-sticky, very simple to pat down into the pan. It smelled like those mysterious peanut butter crispie bars we used to get in school as a kid. (does anyone else remember those?)
The chocolate layer was slightly more stressful. I had to wash the bowl right before using it to melt the chocolate--I had been using it to hold the dry ingredients for the bottom layer--and I was terrified that I hadn't dried it thoroughly enough and my chocolate would seize.
It was very, very thick and never looked as smooth as I thought it should, but after a while I felt like it might start to stick or seize up or something, so I took it off anyway, figuring that stirring off the heat would do just as well for any small pieces, and whatever didn't melt smoothly would be undetectable due to the peanuts and Craisins I mixed in (I also do not really like raisins).
It spread over the dough without incident, and I had enough dough left over to totally cover the top. I recommend setting aside the larger amount of dough (1 cup in this case).
I baked my bars for the full time specified, cooled on the counter for 2 hours and flipped out (they came in one piece, nothing lost) wrapped in Saran Wrap and refrigerated before cutting. Heeding the warnings of others on TWD about richness, I cut the half-size recipe into 32 bars instead of 16. Though I still seem to eat them two at a time. Go figure. In all the meanings of that phrase.
They are very, very yummy! Sort of like a deconstructed oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. And super CHEWY, which I AM a big big fan of. I'd definitely make these to take to a party, or when feeling particularly fragile (as I was this week). You do need a good bit of lead time due to all the time for chilling, but they are little actual work, so quite worth it. And do add the raisins/craisins; I think they take away from what could be an overwhelmingly sweet treat (I don't know how y'all who added butterscotch chips managed.) Thanks to Lillian for picking this one! (Go see her blog for the recipe.)