Chocolate Oatmeal Squares

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With school starting back yesterday the sprogs were very grumpy indeed. It’s not that they don’t like school. It’s just that they like not being at school so much more. These holidays they scored an extra week off due to a visit from some of our American family, and I find that the longer the time off, the harder it is to get them back into the school head space.  It starts with begging to stay down south, “just one more night, just one…. pleeeez??” When that doesn’t work, the ‘headaches’ and coughing begin. Poor things, they strain themselves so much to sound convincing that they actually do end up with sore throats. And so it goes on…  It is really an impressive effort.

But… after lengthy discussion about the necessity of going, and the promise of a scrumptious chocolate treat for recess, they give in and agree to feel better by morning and get up early enough to be dragged off to school. The treat of choice, these chocolate squares, are very rich, loaded with choc bits, and topped with a butterscotch icing.  Very decadent and a rare treat.

Recipe

  • 8 T unsweetened cocoa (my favourite is the Woolworths Home Brand for a darker richer result)
  • ¾ c butter
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c oats
  • 1 c raw sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 60 ml cherry brandy
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 c plain flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • ½ t salt
  • ¾ c dark chocolate bits

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 33 x 23 cm baking pan. Melt butter and cocoa in saucepan over medium heat. Add water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and beat in oats, sugars, eggs, brandy and vanilla.  Add flour, baking powder and salt in 3 batches, and beat on medium til fully blended with each batch.  Stir in choc bits.

Pour into baking pan and cook for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Cool the cake before icing. The squares are best eaten the next day but are also nice when iced still slightly warm, for a softer lighter square.

Icing

  • ½ c butter
  • 1 c brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¼ c milk
  • 1 ½ – 1 ¾ c icing sugar

Melt butter in saucepan and stir in brown sugar. Bring to boil and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in milk. Cool slightly.  Gradually stir in sifted icing sugar.  Continue to stir as mixture cools further, until it thickens to a spreadable consistency. Decorate as desired.

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About baking bohemian

My name is Jen and I am the baking bohemian. My blog identity comes from the cultural background of my mother’s family, (Bohemian), and my mother’s more left wing lifestyle (bohemian). The big ‘B’ Bohemian refers to the rich cultural heritage of our family that emigrated from Bohemia when it was still its own country (it now comprises two thirds of the Czech Republic). Food featured prominently in the family and broader social life of that part of my family. No social interaction was without sustenance, and any celebration, large or small, was an invitation to cook up a storm. My own family emigrated from the United States to Australia when I was a child. For the most part we lived with our mother, and my dad eventually moved back to the US. The little ‘b’ bohemian relates to the semi-alternative lifestyle we led with our mother. I hesitate to refer to her as a hippy, for that conjures up so many misconceptions, but certainly she was on that side of the fence. She was probably more eccentric than radical at the end of the day, but she could really cook. We always set extra plates at the dinner table because inevitably people would visit at dinner time. I started cooking when I was about eight. Cookies. Obviously I was motivated by desire! I loved cooking, I loved that the kitchen was always, in every way, the heart of the house, so I was always part of anything else that was happening while I was cooking. I loved people loving my food. With all the different things that I have done in my life and am interested in, food has remained my most consistent and enduring passion.

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