The invention of dessert bars and squares is attributed to an American housewife who won a prize in 1971 for an original dessert she created by combining cake mix with pecans and other ingredients.
Today, countless variations are found in coffee shops across North America.
While they may be less refined and sophisticated than the jewel-like cakes and pastries found in French pâtisseries, homemade squares can be just as delicious, and they’re certainly very easy to make.
These luscious chocolate oatmeal squares are so tender they practically melt in your mouth.
The combination of delicate, buttery oatmeal crust and velvety smooth dark chocolate makes every morsel a regale of textures and flavours.
The key is to use fine quality chocolate for the filling. Some recipes call for chocolate chips, but to ensure amazing results, always use the best dark chocolate you can find.
Chocolate oatmeal squares are delicious with coffee or tea, and perfect for parties too.
Chocolate oatmeal squares
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 25 to 30 minutes
Makes around two dozen squares
- 220 grams (1 cup, packed) brown sugar
- 170 grams (3/4 cup) butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 190 grams (1 1/2 cups) flour
- 90 grams (1 cup) quick oats
- 400 ml (14 fluid ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 170 grams (6 ounces) superior quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F). In a food processor combine brown sugar, butter and salt. Pulse for about 15 seconds until a lumpy mixture is obtained (stop before a ball begins to form).
- Incorporate flour and oats and pulse until crumbly.
- Press two-thirds of this mixture into the bottom of a buttered 33 x 22 cm (13 x 9 in) baking pan and reserve the rest.
- Combine condensed milk and chocolate pieces in a saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted.
- Pour this mixture over crust in baking pan, taking care to distribute evenly. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting into squares.