At the start of our recent trip to Alaska, we spent two days in Vancouver, BC, one of my favorite cities.
My first trip to Vancouver (last fall) was full of so many delights, but one simple one was eating an oatmeal fudge bar at Starbucks.
OMG, are these good.
Growing up, my grandmother used to bake something exactly like this. She’d make a sugary oatmeal cookie dough, press some of it into a cake pan, add a layer of fudge and dab the rest of the oatmeal mix on top, bake and voila!
My contributions to this endeavor were to eat an obscene amount of the dough (fingers crossed, no salmonella – ever), generously sample the fudge, and of course to consume the finished product. Winning!
Having one of these last fall fueled my nostalgia and when we were back in Vancouver a few weeks ago, I meant to get another one.
Except I ran out of time.
(Don’t cry for me; there was more than enough vacation indulgence on this trip to last a lifetime).
Last weekend we were invited to a family picnic and I was determined to resurrect this treat, but this time, a gluten-free version that Trixie (with her severe celiac disease) could eat.
I started with this Rachael Ray recipe and essentially only swapped out gluten-free ingredients where appropriate. I also cut back on the butter.
Gluten-Free Oatmeal Fudge Bars
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 t vanilla
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 t salt
- 2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used this Pillsbury blend)
- 3 cups gluten-free oats (these)
- 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Combine butter, sugars, eggs and 1 t vanilla (ok, I used a huge pour because I like it vanilla-y) in mixer.
- Add baking soda and salt; combine.
- Slowly add flour, especially because the gluten-free variety is very fine and will spray everywhere.
- Stir in oats.
- Generously sample dough. Totally worth the risk of food poisoning.
- Press about 2/3 of the dough into a 9″ x 13″ pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- Prepare the fudge:
- Combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and 1 t vanilla in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Microwave about 45 seconds and stir until smooth.
- Taste a few times. This is an important step.
- Pour the fudge mixture over the raw dough.
- Dab small pieces of the remaining 1/3 dough on top of the fudge.
- Bake 30 minutes.
Here are a few shots of the action:
The gluten-free products I used:
This was my first time trying the Pillsbury flour mix, which contains rice flour, potato starch, pea fiber, tapioca starch and xanthan gum.
One of the reasons I’ve previously shied away from gluten-free baking is because a lot of other recipes individually require these ingredients, and there is just no way I am going to buy a whole bag of xanthan gum.
Another reason is that a lot of gluten-free flours have a gritty, unpleasant mouthfeel. This doesn’t.
An unsolicited review from Trixie when I was adding the oats to the mixer:
Ewww! That has granola in it! I hate those!
Her redaction upon consuming the finished product:
These are soooo good. May I please have two more? I just can’t help myself.
I’ll chalk that up as a win.