Gooey fudge made with sweetened condensed milk, sandwiched between layers of oatmeal cookie, make these chocolate oat bars addictive!
With an electric mixer or stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla to combine.
Add the oats, flour, salt, and baking soda in 2-3 stages. (It's a large amount of dough, so this helps it mix in.) Mix until just combined.
Pat 2/3 of the cookie dough into a greased 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, salt, and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir constantly over low heat until everything is melted and smooth. (You don't want it to burn on bottom.) Remove it from heat and add the 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Spread the chocolate fudge over the cookie dough in the pan, getting it as close to the edges as you can without it touching.
Top the fudge with the remaining cookie dough. (This can take me a while because I want it spread out finely, not clumpy - but you shouldn't be so picky like me!)
Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. (Check on the early side if you want them softer.) Cool some before cutting.
These bars are very rich. Feel free to cut them into 48 bars instead of 24.
Both quick and old-fashioned oats work here. Do not use instant or steel-cut oats.
Be sure to get a 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. Do not use evaporated milk, which is thin and has no additional sugar.
Store these in an airtight container. Like most cookies, they're best for the first day or two. That said, they're still good on day 3, and will continue to last for days but will become more crumbly the longer you store them.
This recipe was adapted from Taste of Home.