You Mean Black Tar Heroin Bars?
Full disclosure: these gems don’t even pretend to be good for you. But alas, sometimes you just need a little trouble to get by. Though I am far more salty than sweet, this recipe is the perfect amalgamation of all that I love in a good dessert. The usual suspects of butter, vanilla, chocolate chips and brown sugar are all present, but what makes this one truly special are the flecks of sea salt crowning the golden bars. Once you mix the majesty together, sprinkle some sea salt for good measure, and bake, you are treated to fudgy decadence. Gooey, salty-sweet glory that you will scrape out of the pan to steal bite after bite.
This recipe was born after a failed attempt to recreate my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe. I crafted the batter lovingly, adding dates and coconut to help with the chewy, gooey texture. But it was all in vain, and my attitude was so effing bad after the bake fail, I dumped the rest of the batter out into a pan, cooked it off and continued to live my life. As I carved up the cookie bars and took a nibble, though, I realized that I had stumbled upon something wickedly unique – the perfect marriage of blondie, cookie and salted caramel all in one sexy bite. I was a bonafide addict.
I made these babies for a charity bakeoff for the National MS Society and had a moment of hesitation in naming them. If I entered them under their official name, they’d easily be demolished. But maybe, just maybe, if I named them after illegal drugs, folks would shy away and I’d have more leftovers to bring home for secret eating. Silly me. As I stole glances of the folks chowing down on the entries into the competition, I noticed people taking forks, spatulas and even fingers (!) to the bars, sneaking tastes here and there. They were surreptitious in their nibbling, as if partaking in some sort of illicit activity. I had moved from addict to dealer in a matter of minutes.
One last thing before I show you how to get your fix. Though Spice or Die is a judgement-free zone, it’s hard to eat these decadent bars with a clean conscience. So if you are looking to do a little good to even out the score, we’re still in fundraising mode for the National MS Society 😉 As I write this, we are at a little over $12,000 for this year’s fundraising, only $3000 short of our goal for the year. Consider making a donation to my team, MS is BS, who walk 50k in a charity event to support my little sister and all who have multiple sclerosis. After all, doing good is pretty damn addictive as well.
Sea Salt Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
You have the opportunity to make these as dangerous as you’d like by changing the baking time. I tend to underbake them a bit to play up the texture of cookie dough, but if you dig the taste of brownie edges, bake a little longer.
Makes 16 generous bars
coarse sea salt