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I Love Chocolate

by Stephanie Zonis

 

Chewy Oatmeal-Chip Bars

48 bars
(yield varies depending on how large bars are cut)

 

These are good, old-fashioned, chewy, homestyle bar cookies, just the thing to restore someone after a hard day. They can restore the baker, too; if your soul is tired of technology (and whose isn't, sometimes?), scratch the hand-held mixer you were going to use to make the dough here, and make the cookies entirely by hand. If your butter is softened, it isn't difficult---but it is very therapeutic.

With lots of chocolate chips, raisins, oats, and a bit of spice, these smell wonderful as they bake, and they taste even better. If you wish, omit the spices; you might want to substitute some grated orange zest for them (add the zest to the creamed butter-sugar mixture with the eggs). These will last at room temperature for a couple of days, if stored airtight, but I think they're at their best within about 24 hours of baking, so I freeze them for longer storage (they freeze perfectly). I cut these into 48 bars, as they are deceptively rich, but they can be cut larger, if you wish. This is an ideal recipe for those times when small helpers are around, if you can keep them from eating all the raisins and chips!

 

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
   (if lumpy, sift before measuring)
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
Dash salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, graded "large"
2 cups quick-cooking or old fashioned oats
   (do not use instant oatmeal here!)
2 cups (12 ozs.) good-quality chocolate chips
1 cup soft, fresh raisins

 

Adjust rack to center position of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 15-1/2 by 10-1/2 by 1 inch baking sheet with aluminum foil, shiny side up, pressing out as many creases as possible. Grease the bottom only lightly with solid vegetable shortening. In small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, pressing out any lumps with the back of a spoon.

In large bowl, preferably by hand with a large spoon, cream softened butter, both sugars, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs until creamy. Add mixed dry ingredients and incorporate them. Stir in oats, then add chips and raisins, blending until they are evenly distributed.

By large spoonfuls, place dough onto prepared baking sheet. with back of a large, clean spoon, spread as evenly as possible.

Bake 18 to 23 minutes. Cookies will become a golden brown with darker edges. Do not overbake! A toothpick inserted in the center of the cookies will not test done.

Cool completely on cooling rack before covering airtight. Allow to stand at least 4 hours before cutting into bars. To cut, use a large, sharp, straight-edged knife. Cut the cookies once, straight down the middle (parallel to the short ends of the baking sheet). Now, remove the cookies, still in their foil, from the sheet, and place them on a cutting board. (Cutting them once through the middle prevents the sheet of baked cookies from splitting when it's lifted from the pan.) Trim off about 1/2 inch from each edge of the cookies, then cut into bars of desired size.

 

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Copyright © 1999 Francesca Chocolate Productions. All Rights Reserved.

Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You may: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your computer for your own personal use only; and reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.

 
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This page created September 1999


 

 
 

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