nutella oatmeal bars with smoked sea salt

These warm, gooey bars were inspired by the Celebrating Sweets food blog. They are everything you want in a dessert - crispy, chewy, salty, sweet. The dough is a cross between shortbread and oatmeal cookie, with the unexpected twist of almond flavor thanks to almond extract.

 

  • Butter (10 tablespoons, melted)

  • Brown sugar (2/3 cup)

  • Flour (1 cup)

  • Baking soda (1 and 1/2 teaspoons)

  • Salt (1/4 teaspoon)

  • Almond extract (1 and 1/2 teaspoons)

  • Old-fashioned oats (1 cup)

  • Nutella (5-6 tablespoons)

  • Dark chocolate chips (1/4 cup)

  • Milk chocolate chips (1/4 cup)

  • Smoked sea salt (1/2 teaspoon)

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, blend with a wooden spoon the the melted butter, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, almond extract, and oats. The dough should be smooth and not dry.

  3. Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Spread half the dough onto the bottom of the dish. Bake for 10 minutes.

  4. Remove the baking dish from the oven. The dough will be warm and soft. Dot the bottom layer of dough with the tablespoons of Nutella. The warm dough will help melt the Nutella so that you can spread it gently with a spatula. 

  5. Sprinkle the chocolate chips across the top of the Nutella layer. 

  6. Spread the remaining half of the dough on top of the chocolate. You may not cover all the chocolate but ensure the large chunks of dough are spread out.

  7. Bake the bars for another 15 to 17 minutes, until golden brown on top.

  8. Remove the bars from the oven and sprinkle with the smoked sea salt. Let cool before cutting, otherwise the bars may fall apart. As the bars cool, the chocolate will begin to firm.