Brownies are the most common chocolate bar cookie out there, and unless you’re throwing chocolate chips into some cookie dough that you’re going to bake into bar cookies, you’re probably going to turn to baking a batch of brownies when you’re looking for a chocolate baked good fix in bar form. I say “probably” because a batch of Chocolate Revel Bars should be right up there in contention for the top snack spot where easy to make chocolatey baked goods are concerned.
Revel bars consist of two layers of oatmeal cookie dough sandwiching a fudge-like chocolate filling. The oatmeal cookie dough is similar to a regular oatmeal cookie, and the same dough is used for both the base and the topping of these bars. The filling is rich and creamy, with a great chocolate flavor and that hint of chewiness that you might expect to find in good fudge. It is a very easy to throw together, as the filling is primarily made with sweetened condensed milk and chocolate. It sounds so simple that you almost wouldn’t expect the finished product to be as good as it is. I like to use dark or bittersweet chocolate for these bars (regular semisweet chocolate chips are just fine, too) because I like the fact that they bring a little bit more intense chocolate flavor to the table. The dark filling is a great match for the buttery, oaty cookie base and topping.
I always add some additional chocolate chips and chopped nuts to the topping of my revel bars because I like the contrast of adding some additional texture and flavor. Pecans and walnuts both work extremely well with the chocolate and oatmeal components of this bar cookie, so feel free to use either type of nut. I like to use a toasted, salted nut to add a little more of a salty-sweet element to these bars that makes them seem even more indulgent than they already are.
Chocolate Revel Bars
1/2 cup butter, room temperature, divided
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal (not instant)
7 oz sweetened condensed milk (1/2 can)
1 1/2 cups dark or bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup toasted and salted pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and oatmeal.
In a large bowl, cream together 7 tbsp butter (reserve remaining tablespoon) with brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Blend in flour mixture until well incorporated.
In a small, microwave safe bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup chocolate chips and reserved 1 tbsp butter. Melt on high heat in 40 second intervals, stirring frequently, until mixture is smooth. Stir in remaining 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Take 1 1/2 cups of the cookie dough mixture and press it into an even layer on the bottom of the preapred baking pan. Spread the chocolate mixture evenly on top of the cookie layer.
Stir remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and toasted pecans into remaining cookie dough. Break dough into small chunks and sprinkle evenly over entire chocolate layer. Chocolate layer will still be partially exposed.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until top is lightly browned. Chocolate will still look “wet.”
Cool completely in the pan before slicing.
Makes 20 bars.