Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chocolate Crunch Bars

I like to bake, and I've discovered that the Hebrew School teachers are a great audience for whatever I want to make. This is useful, because the baked goods don't sit around my house being eaten by, um, ME.

So I made a banana bread for the last day of Hebrew School, but that didn't seem decadent enough to celebrate the end. I wanted something else, something that looked gooey and delicious....I paged through my favorite cookbook and discovered this recipe. Notes and any changes mine.

Sinfully Rich Chocolate Crunch Bars (Adapted from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion)

4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup light corn syrup (interestingly enough, this is an item that I keep on hand. Why? No clue.)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (I used butter because I couldn't find any shortening in the house)
2/3 cup chopped nuts (I was in a hurry so I put the walnuts into a bag and beat on them with a rolling pin. This works!)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan. (I don't have a 10x15 inch pan. I have a 10x14 inch pan. I actually took out my measuring tape and measured because I wasn't sure. I used the slightly smaller pan and it seemed okay but if you have the extra inch, it would be better.) Do not spend 15 minutes trying to decide if your pan is the right size. Just get over it. Trust me on this one.

In a medium-sized large mixing bowl (trust me), stir together the oats, sugar, butter, corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Press into the prepared pan. Possibly the coolest tip: use the greased bottom of a loaf pan (which fit perfectly in my 10 inch pan, by the way) to press it down evenly. That's a tip from the cookbook, which is partly why I love this cook book. Bake for 10-14 minutes. It will bubble up a little, that's okay. Err on the side of more baking, rather than less. Especially if your pan is one inch too small. Trust me on this one too. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

Make the topping: melt the chocolate chips and shortening (or butter) in the microwave (or stove) and stir until smooth. Spread evenly over the crust, sprinkle on the nuts. Cover loosely (I used plastic wrap and it was fine, but a little messy.) and refrigerate until firm. I bet you could speed this up in the freezer but I did it overnight.
Cut into squares. It was very sticky. I cut long strips and then removed the strips to a cutting board to make small bite-sized pieces. 

I forgot to take a picture, so after the teachers had some, I remembered and used my blackberry to snap this shot. (Do you like my pink container? It has a handle - perfect for carrying baked goods...)

These were a big hit with the teachers and other friends - and they were pretty easy! Sticky and chewy and chocolatey....mmmm....

I know I'm too late for this month's edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival, but you can check it out here...

1 comment:

Elizabeth Wood said...

Looks DELISH! Is that the same pink container that carried Yael's birth day cupcakes (when I had to eat the boy cupcake really fast when we found out she was a girl)?? It looks like it!!! Thanks for the receipe!!!