It’s not just one thing about these bars, it’s everything. Starting with the rich espresso-spiked chocolate crust to the creamy caramely center and ending with a gooey chocolate top. AKA a chocolate lover’s dream.
I made these bars last weekend when we road tripped it back to my old stomping grounds in Ohio to visit the fam. I knew if there was anyone who would love an insanely decadent dessert more than myself, it would be my family (it’s no mystery where my sweet tooth came from).
I wanted something that would hold well for travel and that was easy for me to throw together in the busy day of packing and working prior to leaving. These were perfect. I used a can of dulce de leche, which you can usually find in the Mexican section of your grocery store, but I also have a recipe to make your own below. Either way, I’m fairly certain you will die very happily after trying these.
Chocolate Oat Dulce De Leche Bars
You can buy cans of dulce de leche, usually in the Mexican aisle, at the grocery store, or below is a recipe to make it yourself from a can of sweetened condensed milk (not to be confused with evaporated milk). It’s simple to make, but if you do make it, just allow yourself plenty of time for it to bake and cool before you start the bars.
Recipe adapted from Cake, Batter, and Bowl
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- Dulce De Leche (recipe below) OR 1 13.4-ounce can dulce de leche
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. In a microwave safe bowl melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate together (microwave for 1 minute or until butter and chocolate are melted, stir and then continue with 30 second intervals). Add the melted butter mixture into dry ingredients and mix with a fork until crumb forms. Reserve 1/2 cup of crumb mixture. Place remaining crumb mixture in a greased 8×8-inch pan and press down evenly. Bake crust at 350˚F for 10 minutes.
Combine dulce de leche and milk in a small bowl and mix well until smooth. Spread dulce de leche over partially baked crust and then top with chocolate chips and remaining 1/2 cup chocolate crumb mixture. Bake an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until set. Cool 1 hour at room temperature and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until filling is set. Cut into 16 bars and store in the refrigerator.
Dulce De Leche
- 1 13.4 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a shallow baking dish and add a pinch of salt. Cover with foil. Create a water bath by placing the dish into a larger sized dish and fill it with water, so that it reaches half way up the side of the smaller dish with the sweetened condensed milk.
Bake for about 1-1 1/2 hours or until it becomes nicely browned. You may have to check occasionally while baking to see if more water is needed (if it has evaporated). Let it cool and stir until smooth.