Chocolate Revel Bars

I hope it gets cold down here! It's been dark and cloudy all day, from the moment I woke up this morning (around 7am) to the present time that I'm writing this post. I've been racking my brain trying to decide if those are rain clouds or cold clouds. You see, those are the only 2 types of dark clouds we have down here. Usually, if they're rain clouds, it gets really really humid outside, even more humid than normal. If they're cold clouds, it gets really windy. So far, outside's been not-that-humid and definitely not windy. I'm praying for cold! It would definitely set me into the Christmas spirit =) Since I'm waiting 'til next week to start baking all the holiday goodies (anything with peppermint, candy cane, or Christmas colors), I decided to make these instead, which are found in The Ultimate Cookie Book. "To ensure a successful crust, be sure to use quick-cooking oats rather than regular oats in these bars."

Chocolate Revel Bars
*makes 60 bars*

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the butter. In a large mixing bowl beat the remaining butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour and the oats.
2) For filling, in a medium saucepan heat and stir the reserved 2 tablespoons butter, the chocolate pieces, and sweetened condensed milk over low heat until smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in the nuts and the 2 teaspoons vanilla.
3) Press two-thirds of the oats mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Spread filling evenly over the oats mixture. Dot remaining oats mixture over the filling.
4) Bake about 25 minutes or until top is light brown (chocolate filling will still look moist). Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 60 bars.

There are 2 variations to this recipe:
If you want to print this recipe or either of the two variations out, go here to their link on the Better Homes & Gardens site.

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