I have a confession to make. I am terrible at reading and following directions. Take instruction manuals, for example. It isn’t uncommon to find the instruction manual to an electronic device I bought a year ago sitting in a drawer, still sealed in it’s plastic wrap. Instruction manuals, I reason, are for people of lesser intelligence.
It may sound like I am bragging mightily here, so I will make a confession too, to even things out, y’know. I don’t know that I can sit and read a manual. I don’t have the attention span. Or the patience. And yet I have both the attention span and the patience to apply sprinkles to a chocolate covered pretzel with a pair of tweezers, to make sure it looks just right. Hmm.
Another kind of directions I rarely, if ever, read? Recipe directions. Ironic, I know. I write them, and it’s all I can do to force myself to reread my own to make sure they are coherent.
This recipe, however, was different. I read the instructions. Then I read them again. And another time. Then once more. Each time, I thought I had missed something. It simply didn’t make sense that it could be quite so simple. But after four times I gave up, and realized that I had a goldmine of a recipe on my hands. This is, quite literally, the simplest recipe I ever made.
Of course, I couldn’t help myself, I had to complicate it a bit. I roasted my own whole almonds, then chopped them myself. By hand. With my magic chef knife. You don’t need to do that. I also measured the bars to make sure they would all be the exact same size. Ok, clearly something doesn’t add up with my earlier confession about my lack of patience. Again, you don’t need to do that. You can take your knife and cut them freehand. But you probably won’t have people making comments such as “I don’t believe you made those. They are obviously from a bakery.”
Chocolate Covered Oatmeal Bars:
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
4 1/2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick cooking oatmeal)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup light corn syrup (Karo)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (1 12 oz package) chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons vegetable shortening (Crisco)
3/4 cup chopped, (toasted) nuts (I used almonds)
Preheat oven to 425. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
Combine oatmeal, brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir well to combine. Pour into prepared jelly roll pan. Smooth out the batter. (I used the bottom of a loaf pan to achieve the smoothest results.)
Bake 10-14 minutes, or until set. The mixture will be bubbling. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
When bars are cooled, melt together the chocolate chips and shortening. Spread over bars, using a rubber spatula to smooth it out. Immediately sprinkle with chopped nuts. Place in fridge to cool, then cut into bars.
Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by!