Sunday, September 12, 2010

Oatmeal Bars for a Crowd

...or oatmeal bars, frozen, until needed for a smallish crowd.
Oatmeal Bars
I found this recipe a few years ago on Baking Bites blog althought I've modified it some to suit the family.

Originally, the recipe was made in a 8X8 pan, I've since quadrupled the recipe for a 12X18 pan.  This is a Wilton pan, it is deeper than a sheet pan of the same dimension.  Don't use a sheet pan for this recipe as it will overflow and make a horrible mess in the oven.  I had made the Barefoot Contessa pecan bars using a sheet pan and created a burning stench in the house like you wouldn't believe.  Until recently, I baked for 6 people so I tend to search out large-volume recipes and own a lot of "big" pans.  (my oldest just moved away to start college).  It's possible that I may be down-scaling some of my recipes in the future.

In the words of Pioneer Woman - the cast of characters
Oatmeal Bars
In a very large bowl or stock-pot, mix the following dry ingredients with a wooden spoon:
4 coups flour-some combination of white, wheat, buckwheat (I did 2 cups of white and 2 of buckwheat)
2 cups of brown sugar (I reduced the amount of sugar this time to 1.5 cups)
2 cups white sugar (again, reduced to 1.5 because of the added raisen puree)
2 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp of salt
2 tsp of cinnamon

In a small bowl melt 1 pound/4 sticks of butter and let cool.  When cool, stir in 4 eggs, 4 tsp of vanilla extract.  I also added in a cup or raisens that were microwaved for a minute in water, drained, then pureed in a food processor.  This adds a bit of sugar and extra color without the texture, which some of my kids don't appreciate.

Mix-ins: 8 cups of some combination of oats, raisnes, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit.  The bulk of the mix-ins should be oats about 5-6 cups.

Mix ins - oats, coconut, pecans
For this batch, I was running low on oats so there was only 4 cups of oats, 1 cup of coconut, 1 cup of raisen puree, 2 cups of minced pecans for a total of 8 cups.  Ideally, there would have 6 cups of oats and less other stuff....

Stir the eggs, raisen puree, and vanilla into the cooled butter.  Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry flour mixture, just until combined.  Then stir in the mix-ins. Pour into a prepared 12X18 pan

Ready for the oven
Bake for 40 minutes or so in a 350 degree oven, until set and golden brown.  Cool on a rack and then either leave in and serve out of the pan or remove, using the parchement paper and slice into serving-sized bars.

I like to use parchment paper for this recipe.  After it's baked and cooled, it's easy to simply slide the huge cookie out of the pan and onto a cutting board.

For presentation, I slice off the sides and keep them separetly and serve them as "bones".  The rest is cut into serving sized squares, a number of which are placed in a plastic container and frozen until needed.

Technically, an 8X8 baking pan yields 18 servings.  I like to be a bit more generous so I would slice into 9 servings which means that a quadruple pan would make about 40 large servings.  But this is very flexible, depending on your needs and how sharp your knive it.



  1. Hi Astrid, thank-you so much for the delicious oatmeal bars. We love being your official 'tasters' up the road! I'm looking forward to seeing a photo on your blog of all your stored food in the basement as I find it a headache trying to work out how to store things. I was discussing yesterday with a group of people what kind of winter is in store for us. I suggested we look at nature and animals and see if they are building extra thick nests, storing extra large quantities of nuts etc. Does all this storage of dry food in your household mean that you know something we don't? Enjoy this lovely Autumnal weather on your bike ride home. Nina.

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