Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Oat Bars have a chewy oat and cardamom cookie crust, a fudgy dark chocolate hazelnut center, and more crunchy cookie swirls on top.Jump to Recipe
Fresh out of culinary school, I worked at a wholesale baking company called “Linda’s Gourmet Desserts”. The pastry chef, Linda Marcinko, was not only a wonderful mentor but became a great friend, and I credit her for teaching me so much of what I know about pastry today. We supplied many independent chain coffee houses with all kinds of baked goods. One of my favorites was cookie bars called “Supremes”. My Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Oat Bars are a fond adaptation of these delicious treats, but with a Scandinavian flavor profile and gluten-free twist.
The base for this recipe is much like an old-fashioned oatmeal cookie, with the addition of cardamom. You can use ground cardamom for ease, or try crushing the seeds from green cardamom pods if you really want a kick of flavor! The cardamom is a dreamy pairing with dark chocolate, and the toasted hazelnuts harmonize perfectly.
I use gluten-free quick oats in this recipe and King Arthur “Measure for Measure” Gluten Free Flour.
The Process for Making Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Oat Bars:
Make the cookie base by creaming together the butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients to form a sticky dough.
Press 3/4 of the dough into an oiled and parchment-lined 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
Gently cook together sweetened condensed milk with the dark chocolate and MORE butter!
The mixture will become smooth and creamy.
Add the chopped, roasted hazelnuts. If you are a no-nuts person, just go with the silky smooth chocolate, or add a nut of your choice.
Spread the filling evenly over the unbaked cookie crust.
Crumble the reserved 1/4 cookie dough over top, streusel-style.
Bake the Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Oat Bars for 20-22 minutes, until they become golden and fragrant. Don’t overbake, as you want a very fudgy bar.
Cool the bars completely in the pan, then carefully lift out the whole baked mixture and transfer to a cutting board (be sure to peel off the parchment paper if it stuck to the bottom of the bars). It is then easy to cut into rows and squares or rectangles, the size of your choosing.
The crunchy cardamom oat cookie topping is my favorite part!
Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Oat Bars make such great gifts and are sturdy enough to pack in decorative tins for gifting. Just be sure to keep some for yourself!
Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Oat Bars
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 ½ cups gluten-free cup for cup flour, (substitute equal amount of all-purpose flour if you are not concerned about gluten)
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups gluten-free quick oats
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 12 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup finely chopped roasted hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 13×9-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer bowl, cream together 1 cup butter and the brown sugar. Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cardamom, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt; stir in the oats.
- Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix until well blended.
- Pat about ¾ of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan, setting the rest aside.
- In a heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the condensed milk, chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons butter and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the 2 teaspoons vanilla and hazelnuts.
- Spread the chocolate mixture over the unbaked oat crust in the baking pan. Crumble the remaining oat mix evenly over the top.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown and firm—do not overbake. Cool completely and cut into squares.