I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for a long time but I just couldn’t get it right. Now that I have and I can hardly wait to publish this post. The inspiration for these skillet chocolate chip bars came by way of Heidi Swanson’s blog, 101 Cookbooks (one of my absolute favorites) in which she interpreted a recipe from the cookbook Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce. For my version, I’ve added in some oats and reduced the amount of sugar by about a quarter. The result is a scrumptious bar with toothsome texture that delivers just the right amount of sweetness. Prep time takes just about five minutes and once you’ve placed your dough in a cast iron skillet – please tell me you have one, they are essential in any kitchen! – your efforts will be rewarded in a moist bar that is ready to take out of the oven in just forty-five minutes.
Oatmeal Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Skillet Bars
Truly one of the fastest, easiest, and satistying bar recipes around. And they’re cooked in a skillet to boot! Perfect sliced into wedges and topped with a dollop of ice cream or cut into squares and packed in a lunchbox. They’re also nifty wrapped up and tucked away a pocket to take on a snowshoe. Dress ‘em up or dress ‘em down. They’re delicious both ways, moist and whole grain. What’s not to love? Ok, they’re probably not low calorie.
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces/ 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 8 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the middle. Lightly butter a 10 or 11-inch OVENPROOF skillet that is at least 2 inches deep (mine is a little over 3 inches deep). This will prevent your bars from overflowing the sides.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Place the butter and sugars into the bowl of a stand mixer and, using the paddle attachment, mix until they are just blended. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is combined . Add the vanilla. Now pour the flour mixture into the bowl and blend on low speed until the mixture is just combined. Do not overwork the dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Slowly add in 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate chips (making sure to reserve about 1/4 of a cup) until they are incorporated into the mixture. Turn the batter out of the bowl into the prepared skillet, pressing it into place. Now sprinkle the 1/4 cup reserved chocolate chips evenly over the top of the dough and lightly press them into the dough. The purpose it to make the top of your bars look yummy and chocolate-y!
Bake the bars for 35-45 minutes (mine are usually ready after 35 minutes but I have a convection oven) until they are golden brown on top and the center has set. Let the bars cool for at least 20 to 30 minutes before slicing – otherwise they will be too gooey in the middle. These bars are even better the second day.