Before I even landed in the Backroads office, I had heard about the Fat Table. I imagine that every office has one – a communal space where treats, goodies, and snacks that act as little carrots to propel cubicle dwellers towards their sales goals, to the bottom of their email boxes, and through meetings and Mondays. My second Monday seemed to be the perfect time to set the pace for my contributions to this table which is at once a duty (at least this is what my chef brain feels,) an absolute pleasure, a fun experiment in my colleagues tastes (as I can use their feedback to weed put recipes,) and a perfect excuse to keep my oven churning out edibles in a time when it would be easier to frequent the thousands of bakeries in The Bay and flop myself on the couch after training and work.
These little beauties were a successful test run at recreating the infamous “carmelita“- a bar cookie featuring chocolate, pecans and dulce de leche, not so unlike a seven layer bar…only without all seven layers. The health nut in me had to doctor these up a bit with used spelt flour, loads of coconut, and some extra pecans in addition to homemade dulce de leche (which is better for the soul than the waistline.)
Monday morning came and when Kitty McD came by the Fat Table, she exclaimed “Hello Dolly Bars! Just like my grandmother used to make!” Unfortunately, these aren’t Hello Dolly bars either (which contain a delicious concoction to include butterscotch, graham crackers and sweetened condensed milk.) Thankfully, though no one, not even Kitty seemed to notice. Next time, Hello Dolly! For now, Hello Monday! – xo L
- 1.5 cups spelt flour
- 1.5 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
- 2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
- 1.5 cups of home-made dulce de leche OR 1-16 oz jar of caramel sauce
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk 3 cups of flours with the baking soda and salt. Add the butter, oats and brown sugar and mix until combined. In a small bowl, mix the dulce de leche with the remaining 3 tablespoons of flour.
- Pat half of the oat mixture into the baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Scatter half of the chocolate chips and pecans over the crust. Dollop half of the dulce de leche mixture on top. Crumble the remaining oat mixture evenly into the pan. Cover with the remaining chocolate chips, pecans and dulce de leche. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the edges are set. Let stand uncovered at room temperature overnight. Cut into bars and serve.