First – apologies for my unannounced (and unplanned) disappearance for the past month-ish.  I did make the pecan pie back in December (actually I made it for Thanksgiving and it was wonderful), but we left town the day the post was due and I never got around to posting it in all of our travel chaos.  I truly wanted to make the chocolate cheesecake but there was no way I could bring Dorie’s book in my luggage and I clean forgot to make a copy of the recipe before we left.  Next thing I know, here it is mid January and I haven’t posted since mid December.

Anyway, enough with the excuses, right?  This week Lillian of Confectiona’s Realm picked Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars on pages 114 and 115.  This is one of  many recipes in the book that doesn’t have a drool inspiring photo paired with it so I have often missed it as I flipped through but I am glad that Lillian selected it.

Here they are in all their glory.  I opted to leave out the raisins – while I love a good oatmeal raisin cookie, I do not enjoy raisins (or any other fruit) paired with chocolate and this time “Prince Charming” was in full support of my decision to leave out the fruit.  Instead, I added about a cup of crushed toffee to the chocolate layer. I also couldn’t resist adding mini chocolate chips to the cookie portion of the bar.

These were an all around hit at my house but here are some things I would have done a little differently in hind sight:

1) Reduce the cookie layer some.  I reserved a full two cups for the topping but I still think the bottom cookie layer was a little too thick.

2) Added a bit more salt to the cookie layer to enhance the sweet/salty contrast.

Dorie says she prefers these cold but recommends trying them room temperature to decide for yourself.  I tried them both ways and I found that I prefer them at room temperature.  Chilling anything that we eat can mask some of the flavors (particularly sweet flavors – think about the taste of an ice cream base before and after freezing) – I think you can better experience the full flavor of these bars at room temperature – but that is just me.

Which ever way you like them, they are definitely worth making so head over to Lillian’s site (or check out Dorie’s book) for the recipe and take a peek at the TWD Blogroll to see how my fellow bakers have interpreted this week’s assignment.