Gooey Bars have it all, a solid buttery base topped with a gooey filling that is better than any seven layer bar. Awesome flavor without sweetened condensed milk. Perfect for a bake sale or sending with your kids, whether it’s to school or the great unknown!
This past week has been busy, exciting and sad. Both girls moved into apartments away from home. We are so excited for them both and sad to see them leaving the nest for good. You would think college would prepare you for this, but these moves seem much more permanent. It would have been nice if they didn’t have to choose the same week to move. We packed up and drove a moving van to two different cities in 3 days. BUT, I couldn’t send them off empty handed. Moving is hard work and you need snacks!! When you’re in the need for a treat you can transport, think of Gooey Bars.
Gooey bars are amazing with just the right combination of ingredients. They’ve been our new favorite bar for the summer. They have a firm shortbread crust that will hold whatever you decide to add to the filling. The taste is similar to a seven layer bar or magic bar, with two differences. First, they are not so sticky to eat since the bottom is more like a cookie than a graham cracker crust. Secondly, they are not so disgustingly sweet because there’s no sweetened condensed milk. Now sweetened condensed milk is magical but you have to admit it’s really sweet and can make things a little over-the-top for me.
Instead of sweetened condensed milk you’ll make your own gooey filling out of butter, sugar – brown and white, and eggs. Then you add oatmeal and coconut and whatever filling you want. The girls just want chocolate chips, but I think some nuts are a nice addition. There’s just a hint of coconut. Overall you still have a very sweet bar but it’s tempered with the oatmeal and shortbread crust.
Since these are a bit more stable than a traditional seven layer bar, they’re perfect to send for snacks. They would be great for treats after soccer or in the classroom. Also a show stopper for any Fall bake sales you might have coming up.
For us it was nice to have a treat after unloading the moving truck. One nice thing about having the girls away is that I have someone to ship treats to. So plan on seeing more sweet treats in the months to come that ship well. For now you’re going to want to bake a batch of these for those last evenings at the pool or end of the summer cook outs.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen Everyday
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¾ cup butter cold
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 ⅓ cups old fashioned oatmeal
- ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut packed
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 9 X 13 pan with parchment and spray the sides with cooking spray.
- In a food processor, add flour, salt, and sugar and combine. Add cold butter cut into pieces. Process until it forms large chunks, it will take 30 seconds or so, just keep processing. When it starts to form large chunks, place it into the prepared pan and press it evenly in the bottom of the pan. Use the bottom of a glass to tap it down and make it smooth. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until it’s golden brown throughout. (Don’t take it out too early or you won’t get a crunchy bottom.)
- While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it is slightly brown throughout, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add sugars and salt. Let cool slightly, then whisk in eggs one at at time. Add vanilla. Stir in oats, coconut and chocolate chips and whatever other filling you are adding.
- Add filling to the crust and smooth it with an offset spatula or knife. Return to oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. You want the top to be golden brown and the filling set.
- Let cool before cutting.