There’s no one who objects when hot fudge takes the places of fruit. Too bold? I don’t know, maybe. But take a chocolate-covered strawberry. If you had to choose between elements, would you take the chocolate or the berry? I would take the chocolate.
And so, I took my old recipe for Raspberry Crumble Bars, and I turned it into a recipe for Hot Fudge Crumble Bars. A victory for chocoholics everywhere.
Most of my whimsical decisions, like subbing in chocolate for what would ordinarily be jam, do not materialize out of nowhere. Often, they’re the product of necessity, also known as I want to bake and I have no jam. And occasionally, I make such a tweak because a cool new product has come to my attention and I need to feature it in some crumble bars. In my neck of the woods, there are a lot of cool new products. But, of course, it’s tough to know which ones to spend on.
Which brings me to Hatchery, a subscription box for delicious fancy food products. Like a CSA for little delicacies, some of them under-the-radar and not likely to be discovered on one’s own, Hatchery sends out a surprise collection of sample size artisan ingredients every month. (Each box costs $20 if you subscribe.) The Hatchery team discovers these remarkable bits of goodness by traveling the country in search of quality, small-batch ingredients to send out.
In my first box, there were delicious jellies and jams, marinara sauce, and spice mixes. There was also the aforementioned hot fudge, called Dave’s Hot Fudge. In addition to chocolate, the hot fudge contains malted milk powder, and the effect is to make the sauce resemble malted milk balls. Yum.
I loved how the hot fudge got slightly candied in the oven, becoming a delightful contrast to the melt-in-your-mouth crust and crumbs, which are rich with butter and almonds. I’m pretty sure you can’t lose with these.
This post was sponsored by Hatchery. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep Big Girls, Small Kitchen delicious!
Hot Fudge Crumble Bars
Makes 16 squares
3/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) softened butter
1/2 cup Dave’s Hot Fudge
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-by-8-inch baking pan well and line it with parchment going up the sides about an inch (no need to be precise).
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and almonds well. Beat in the softened butter with by hand, until completely combined and very creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
Scoop about two-thirds of the mixture into the pan and press evenly into the bottom. Using slightly damp hands can allow you to press it in without making a total mess. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 2 minutes; then pile hot fudge sauce right in the center on center and let rest for another 2 minutes. After that, it’ll be easy to spread, so smear it around the surface, leaving 1/2 inch crust all the way around.
Crumble the remaining dough on top and bake for 10 to 12 more minutes, until the top is golden and firm. Cool completely, then refrigerate for 30 minutes before removing the whole square from the pan (lift up from the parchment). Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares.