Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars
Makes 32 bars
For the Oatmeal Layer:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped (I used my mini-chopper)
For the Chocolate Layer:
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup moist, plump raisins
3/4 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or butter a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and place on a cooking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat for 2 minutes, then add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Stir in the oats and peanuts by hand.
Set aside 1 1/2 - 2 cups of the mixture, then turn remaining dough into the prepared pan. Gently press dough evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Set a heatproof bowl over (without touching the water) a saucepan of simmering water. Combine the condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter, and salt in the bowl and stir occasionally until milk is warm and chocolate and butter are melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in vanilla, raisins, and peanuts.
Pour the warm chocolate over the oatmeal crust, the scatter remaining oatmeal over top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until topping is golden brown and chocolate layer is starting to come away from the sides of the pan. Cool for about 2 hours.
Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting. I recommend serving them chilled as well.