20 February 2007

je t'empris

A good friend of mine recently moved across the country. Not only is she nice, she has a slightly wicked sense of humor...also, she likes shoes...and France. (I miss her very much.)

She recently emailed me to ask for a recipe, and as I was getting ready to email it, I realized that I get requests for this particular recipe all the time (because who doesn't want to eat chocolate for breakfast?!). Birds, meet stone:

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (may use 1/2 cup more, but bars become crumbly)
1 (6 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and sugar in mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add vanilla. In a seperate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to egg mixture. Stir in oatmeal and chocolate chips.

Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached.

Cool and cut into squares.

*I use 1/2 regular flour and 1/2 whole wheat. No one will even notice.
*I like Bob's Red Mill Extra-Thick Rolled Oats. You can pretty much buy them anywhere now (certainly at Harris Teeter) and they're not expensive ($2-$3 a bag). Store them in the freezer and they'll last forever!
*Go ahead and add 1/2 cup chopped nuts (we like pecans or walnuts) before baking. Protein and crunch!
*Feel free to double the recipe and bake in larger pan. (Do check your baking time! If they're spread thinly, they might need only five more mintues.)
*These puppies freeze very well (cut them first).
*Of course substitutions for the chocolate are fine. Dark chocolate chips are yummy in this. Superdark chocolate, however, might best be saved for something with fewer competing flavors and textures.

Full Credit: This recipe first appeared in a 1978 issue of Women's Day. I know this because my mother is in the admirable habit of recording such things and she did so not only on the card in her recipe box, but also on this page in my recipe book. I'm sure she modified it somewhat (probably less sugar? more oatmeal?) and I have done the same (pinch of salt, slightly less oatmeal). In any case, I think we should begin planning now for the Breakfast Bars' Thirtieth Birthday Party. There will be so many attendees!

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