My mom sat me and my siblings on the porch one summer day when I was growing up and handed us each a Swiss Roll. None of us had eaten one before and just the way she handed them to each one of us individually made us feel like we were getting something special. We tore open the little plastic packages and devoured them in seconds. I remember her sitting down and eating one with us, a little more slowly than the rest of us, and telling us that they tasted just like they did when she was a kid. It's debatable whether that was actually a good thing or not.
Though I thought they were so special at the time, Swiss rolls are not my favorite of the sweet, junky snack foods. That award would have to go to oatmeal creme pies, the chewy spiced cookie sandwiched around fluffy creme filling. Though I can count on one hand the number of times I've actually bought a package of them, something about those cookies always appeals to me.
The ingredient list for the creme pies, however, does not. That's why these oatmeal creme bars are my new BFF. They taste like oatmeal creme pies, but they contain pronounceable ingredients - things like oats, butter and flour, and some special ingredients like applesauce and malted milk powder to give them some great flavor. And although the bars aren't as easy as opening a plastic package, they are far easier than baking and assembling your own sandwich cookies. I'd have trouble telling you whether the soft, cinnamon-oatmeal outer layers or the silky smooth creme filling is my favorite part of these bars. I seem to eat plenty of both each time I've been assembling them. What I have no trouble telling you is that if you want a soft, cake-like bar with a touch of apple, cinnamon, molasses and malt flavor, all wrapped around a soft, creamy filling, you will love these bars.
Oatmeal Creme BarsPublished 04/10/2013
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup quick oats (the 1-minute kind, not instant)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon malted milk powder
- 1 jar marshmallow creme (7 oz)
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup shortening (butter just doesn't work as well, sorry shortening haters)
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. (This is to make it easy to lift the bars out of the pan so you can cut them in half horizontally.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a medium bowl until fluffy. Beat in applesauce, molasses and eggs.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, oatmeal and malt flavor.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared 9x13 pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-22 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and let bars cool 5 minutes in pan. Using the foil, carefully lift bars out of pan and onto a wire rack to cook completely.
- To make filling, combine marshmallow creme, pinch of salt, shortening and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute. (If creme filling is still a little too thick, add water, a teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency. I usually have to add 1-2 teaspoons. Also, if you are short on time, I've used plain marshmallow creme for the filling before and although it can be tough to spread on the bars, it still tastes great.)
- Carefully slide uncut bars from the foil onto a cutting board. Using a long knife held parallel to the cutting board, carefully slice the bars in half. Slide a flexible cutting between the two pieces and remove the top piece. Spread the creme filling evenly over the bottom layer. Slide the top layer back onto the bottom layer. Cut into squares and serve.
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Recipe Source: HeatOvenTo350