There a few things that make me heart leap as much as it does when I can make something that not only my whole family can enjoy together, but that everyone raves over. Especially with Jonah being able to experience flavors he doesn’t get much of, I could cry.
Maybe it’s pregnancy hormones, but watching that little boy double-fist this Oatmeal Fudge Bar on his belly with the cold kitchen floor underneath him made a lasting impression on me as a sweet reminder of why I do what I do, how important my job as Mama is, and why cooking is so much of my passion.
It feeds my family, it binds us together, and it allows us to just be.
Bring yours together with this dairy-free, gluten-free, & nut-free winner:
1/2 c. dairy free shortening
1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. gluten-free all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. old fashioned or quick cooking oats (I prefer old fashioned but use whatever you have)
1/2 c. gluten-free all purpose flour
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 dairy free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life or Divvies)
4 T. dairy free margarine (I use Organic Earth Balance)
1 T. water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8 inch glass Pyrex baking dish with dairy free baking spray. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a medium bowl with a wooden spoon) combine the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add applesauce and vanilla and thoroughly combine. In a small separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Add to shortening mixture and stir well. Stir in oats. Reserve 1 cup of oatmeal mixture for topping. Spread the rest into the prepared glass dish using the back of a spoon or your fingers. Set aside.
Make Fudge Layer: In a microwave safe bowl combine the chocolate chips and dairy free margarine. Heat in the microwave 20 seconds at a time until the chips are just melted. Add 1 T. water and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. In a small bowl combine the 1/2 c. flour and 1/4 c. sugar with a wire whisk. Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Spread the fudge layer over the oatmeal layer. Sprinkle top with the reserved oatmeal mixture and spread with the back of a spoon or your fingers. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into squares.