I didn’t know there was such a thing as Fudge Nut Bars until I met Glen. His mom, Doreen, always has a pan of bars or a bucket of cookies ready to share with family and friends. One time when we visited, that pan of bars was the most incredible combination of a chewy oatmeal cookie and soft fudge filling.
After Glen and I were married, I asked Doreen for the recipe for her Fudge Nut Bars. She happily passed it along. I love these tried and true recipes, neatly scripted in ballpoint ink onto recipe cards. There’s something about holding the recipe card in your hand, admiring the penmanship, and remembering the baker or cook who took the time to record the ingredients and directions for a beloved treat or dish. The recipe for Fudge Nut Bars fills both sides of a small index card.
These delicious bars start with a traditional oatmeal cookie crust, made delicious with Land O Lakes® Butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and rolled oats.
After the dough for the crust is prepared, the fudge nut filling is made in a saucepan on the stove.
Chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and more butter are melted together before being united with chopped walnuts or pecans.
While the filling cools, part of the oatmeal cookie dough is pressed into a bar pan. The rest of the cookie dough is saved for topping the bars. This can be rather sticky dough, so be sure to have some softened butter handy for buttering your fingers – it will make spreading the dough around a lot easier.
I've also found that sticking the bowl of oatmeal cookie dough in the freezer for 10 minutes or so while you make the filling helps make the dough easier to work with.
The oatmeal cookie dough is topped with the fudge nut filling and the remaining cookie dough. The easiest way to top the bars is to use your fingers to break off little pieces of cookie dough and drop them on the filling. The top cookie dough layer won’t completely cover the filling layer.
The finished bars will have a sort of dappled look to them.
Here's a closer look.
Have I mentioned how delicious Fudge Nut Bars are? It’s like the flavors of an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie got together in a whole new way. They will quickly become a family favorite. Judging from how much my own kids like these bars, I’ll be sharing the recipe with them someday, too.
Fudge Nut Bars
Makes: One 10 x 15 pan of bars
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes
1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups flour
3 cups quick rolled oats
2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10 x 15 bar pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Cream 1 cup butter and brown sugar together. Scraping down sides of bowl frequently, mix in eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in flour until completely blended, then oats. Set oatmeal mixture aside or chill in freezer.
In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add condensed milk, chocolate chips, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir constantly until all ingredients are melted together and filling is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in chopped nuts.
With well-buttered fingers, press ⅔ of oatmeal mixture into prepared pan. Spread fudge filling over oatmeal mixture. Using your fingers, drop small chunks of the remaining oatmeal mixture over filling.
Bake for 25 minutes. Bars are done when tops of oatmeal cookie chunks are golden brown.
Let cool completely before cutting into bars+.
I am a Land O'Lakes Cooperative farmer-owner. I received compensation from Land O'Lakes for this post. All opinions are my own. Land O Lakes and the Indian Maiden brandmark are registered trademarks of Land O’Lakes, Inc.