Oatmeal Fudge Crumb Bars

Oatmeal Fudge Crumb Bars

I’m back! Back from sunny Florida, refreshed and ready to work again.

Well, sort of. I mean, I’m not ready. But this is the closest I’ll be. We can’t spend life on a beach. Or maybe we can’t. I keep wondering if I could change my life and live on a beach. I mean, they need teachers everywhere, don’t they?

While I’m contemplating a change in location, I might as well bake. In fact, it’s one of the things that keeps my life grounded. Whether I stay in colder climes or not, I will always love crumb more than anything. These bars are all about the oatmeal crumb, which sandwiches a layer of fudge. The whole thing gets topped off with M & Ms. Did I say these were happy? Or was that just too obvious?

Oatmeal Fudge Crumb Bars

There’s so much I can share about my vacation, but I’m going to start with the fact that whenever Kenny and I go away, our getaway quickly becomes a test of how much physical activity we can squeeze into whatever time we have. Example: in one morning we rented both kayaks and paddleboards, and this was after an hourlong workout and a long beach walk. And that was just the morning. We kept the exercise up all day long.

We both love being fit, so when I realized that there was a barre studio across the street from our hotel, I called them and set up a class. If you don’t remember, I’m a huge barre girl. I started doing the workouts over two years ago, and I’ve stuck with them. I have my own barre at home, and I alternate cardio and barre (or do both) every day of the week.

Oatmeal Fudge Crumb Bars

The best (in my opinion) technique so far is Physique 57, which is one of the original barre methods. However, I tried another popular name-brand studio this time, feeling kind of guilty for cheating on P57. Don’t worry: the guilt didn’t last.

Friends who have done live barre, please share: does your studio amp the music up so loudly that you can only kinda sorta hear the instructor? Because that’s what happened in Florida. Everyone seemed to be in a state of confusion. One woman was following the next who then followed the one after her, resulting in a bizarre body game of telephone where the last person in the row (ahem, me)  had to improvise a lot. And all the while, the instructor was walking around praising everyone (even me) for doing different things, not even noticing that some feet were pointed while others were flexed, or that I was making up a push-up series out of my own head.

crumb5

So I apologized to the gods of Physique 57 in my head, and I’ll never cheat again. Well, probably. It’s hard to resist a barre studio on vacation, especially when you and your spouse are hell-bent on spending the day being active.

I’ll probably pick another day this week to talk about the sun and warmth, since I have to give a little time to these bars.

Oatmeal Fudge Crumb Bars

They’re heaven. That’s it. Oh, and no mixer. Just some microwave action!

It’s rough being back in the grind, but my baking will never desert me. Now all I have to do is think about whether life in D.C. can really trump a life at the beach!

 

Oatmeal Fudge Crumb Bars

Ingredients

Crust and Topping
1 cup quick oats
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Filling
1 can (14. oz) sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
Optional
1/2 cup plain M & Ms

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar and salt. Add the melted butter and mix until crumbly. Add the pecans and stir until just combined.
  3. Set aside about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the mixture. Take the remaining crumb mixture and press it firmly into the prepared pan. Set aside.
  4. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Heat for two minutes and stir until melted and smooth. Pour the mixture over the bottom layer.
  5. Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the fudge layer evenly. Sprinkle M & Ms on top at even intervals.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.
http://justaboutbaked.com/oatmeal-fudge-crumb-bars/

Mir

I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner. This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker. Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.

This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    These bars have it all! Oats, chocolate, crumb, candy… dying 🙂
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…Weekly Obsessions!My Profile

    1. Mir

      They do have it all. I had to get them out of the house pronto!

  2. Vivian | stayaliveandcooking

    Oh wow, my vacations are all about relaxing! We do a lot of walking and sightseeing usually, but no actual exercising. These bars look delicious, I love the oats in there!
    Vivian | stayaliveandcooking recently posted…My version of chilli con carne | affordable dishMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Walking on vacation is awesome. I just feel the need to be a marathon fitness girl at the same time. Earn those margaritas, you know?

  3. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    I am glad that you had a nice trip away! Dave and I are exactly the same, we try and fit as much active stuff in to our trip as possible, as I think it’s the best way to explore a new destination.

    1. Mir

      Exactly. Exploring new places is so fun!

  4. Megan - The Emotional Baker

    It sounds like you had a great vacation! I’ve always wanted to paddle board, but haven’t given it a shot. The only reason I wouldn’t move to the beach is the hassle of hurricane season! But a big plate of these yummy bars would ease that worry 😉
    Megan – The Emotional Baker recently posted…Cashew Butter GranolaMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Hurricane season is a good reason not to go, but the rest of the year would be SO great.

  5. Kate @ Framed Cooks

    I am admitting right here and now that I am the opposite of wonderful you on vacation – I head for the nearest lounge chair! Where I would really like to be, with a plate of these oatmeal fudge beauties! Happy Monday, Mir!
    Kate @ Framed Cooks recently posted…Easy Pineapple GuacamoleMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I can’t lounge. It makes my back hurt. That makes me sound so old!

  6. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg

    Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! I like being active on my vacations as well. Usually, I have to go for a run or a swim to start my day off right. We have our Spring Break next week, and I can’t wait. These crumb bars are so unique and colorful, Mir. Thank you for sharing.
    Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg recently posted…Brown Butter Funfetti BlondiesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I love starting the day with a workout and then moving all day long!

  7. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary

    Welcome back! So glad you had a blast in Fl! And kudos are keeping it active while at the beach. You can normally find me napping on the sand with a tropical cocktail parked next to my head. 😉 I always LOVE when you post bars, because I have totally named you the bar queen, Mir! All of them are just so creative and delicious, I get excited to see what bar you came up with next, and this one looks FABULOUS! Oatmeal crumb?! That alone has me giddy, but sandwiched between some fudge and topped with M&Ms. SO FUN! And DELICIOUS! Pinned! Cheers, dear!
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Thai Veggie Soba Noodle Bowls {with Ginger-Tahini Dressing}My Profile

    1. Mir

      It was so great. I could be outside in awesome weather all day long, really. Boats are a blast!

  8. annie@ciaochowbambina

    Well that was a satisfying trip! I’d like to tell you that Dom and I keep that active while on vacation but I’d be lying – we’ll move a bit, you know walk the beach, get in a little kayaking – but then it’s all about the surf and sun from our comfy chairs. These bars are happy! I could use them on this snowy, yes, I said snowy, Monday morning! Welcome back, friend!
    annie@ciaochowbambina recently posted…Blueberry Mascarpone Pound Cake with Marinated BerriesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I have to move or things start hurting, but I do like a half hour here and there with a book. It’s a nice way to kick back!

  9. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    Sounds like you had a great trip! I’m still in sunny Arizona, but will be back tomorrow. These crumb bars look like just the thing to get you back on track for Monday. Sounds delicious!

    1. Mir

      Hope you enjoyed your trip, Gayle!

  10. Manali @ CookWithManali

    Sounds like you had a great trip Mir! 🙂 Love the crumb, can never have enough of it!

    1. Mir

      Agreed. Crumb is irresistible!

  11. Aria

    HAHAHA That’s hilarious! And these crumb bars look really, really good and happy! (singing the happy song) 😉
    Aria recently posted…Spring Cleaning: All Done!My Profile

    1. Mir

      I’m singing right along with you!

  12. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Mir, you and your hubby are rock stars! I’m amazed at how much you guys did. . and I love it! you’re putting all of us to shame! 🙂 and for my barre class, the music is loud but not so loud that I can’t hear the instructor! dude, these oatmeal fudge crumb bars look amazing!!! and dangerous! love!
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Banana Nut Granola Smoothie BowlMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I think we get so little chance to do water sports outside that we just do nothing else on vacation! So much for sitting still. As for the barre class, I was surprised. Usually Pure Barre is great, but it was seriously impossible to hear anything but the instructor counting off the last 10 reps. It was frustrating!

  13. David @ Spiced

    Life at the beach > life in D.C. Granted, I’ve never lived in D.C., so I guess I can’t definitively make that statement. But c’mon. It’s life at the beach. We’re like you when we go on vacation. But we usually don’t go to the beach. We’re more of a go to a fun town and then start exploring…and end up walking like 346 miles in a day. Hah! Welcome back to reality…and these bars seem to be the perfect way to ease back into daily life. 🙂
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Homemade English MuffinsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Yeah, I wonder if I would ever get used to the beach and be bored. I somehow doubt it. But exploring fun towns is also cool. I love shopping. But the husband is not with me on that!

  14. Dawn @ Girl Heart Food

    Sounds like you had a great vacation! Nice that you got some activity in there too 🙂 Although, usually on vacay I’m pretty chill myself. Most of the walking is just a light stroll on the beach or to go eat, lol. Loving these oatmeal fudge crumb bars. They look so scrumptious and indulgent. Just what a treat should be 😉
    Dawn @ Girl Heart Food recently posted…Asparagus & Spinach Soup {vegan}My Profile

    1. Mir

      I need to learn from you and be chill, Dawn! I have this urge to be a warrior. Gotta fight it!

  15. Shashi at RunninSrilankan

    YES – they need teachers EVERYWHERE – and there are schools near the beach right? A co-worker of mine quit his job here in Atlanta, took a $15,000 pay cut just so he could move down near the beach – he is a 10 minute walk from his new job and 3 minutes from the beach – he got his priorities right eh? 🙂
    BTW – these bars sound fantastic! I’ve never done a barre workout, but would do one or ten in a heartbeat if these bars were waiting for me at the end! 🙂
    Shashi at RunninSrilankan recently posted…Anytime, Anywhere: Cereal MuffinsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Your colleague is a smart person. He probably has SO much less stress in life now!

  16. Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks

    I imagine that you do have to exercise all day long the way you bake up all these desserts! I think I would be very happy as a beach bum – especially if I had these fudgy oatmeal and M&M bars!

    1. Mir

      Well, I don’t eat them all up, Rachelle. I taste, or have one or two, and give the rest away! But yep, balance. A big workout before my brownie!

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