Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

 These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars {AKA… Michigan Tech Wives Brownies} are packed with brown sugar, oatmeal and chocolate chips in every bite!

Michigan Tech Wives Brownies….I bet you’re thinking that is an interesting name. These special brownies are really what you would call “blondies”, though they have some serious chocolate in them.  They are very, very, soft, with a gooey-ish oatmeal texture… just enough to make it taste like a chewy cookie brownie.

chocolate chip oatmeal bars in a bowl

You can eat it on the go, or warm it up with some hot cocoa and eat it with a fork. The best way to eat it, though, is with a scoop of ice cream on top. Let’s just say that this is the PERFECT brownie.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars {or Michigan Tech Wives Brownies}

So why are these called Michigan Tech Wives Brownies? Here’s the deal.  My grandpa went to Michigan Technological University in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. A cookbook was passed around that had these brownies in it. My mom always made them.

And now I’m sharing them with my kids. We call them “Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars” because that is a more general name for what this delicious dessert is. 

chocolate chip oatmeal bars in a 9x13 pan

Why you’ll love these oatmeal bars:

  • Easy to mix cookie dough
  • Pantry staple ingredients
  • Full of oats and mini chocolate chips
  • One pound of brown sugar. No, that isn’t a mistake. Just do it.
  • No scooping dough…just bake in a 9×13 pan.
ingredients for chocolate chip oatmeal bars

What you need to make oatmeal bars:

  • Butter. We use salted butter, but you can use unsalted if you like.
  • Brown Sugar. No white sugar needed. And we do use a pound of brown sugar, which is about 2 ⅓ cups packed. Can you use less, probably so, but we don’t.
  • Eggs. Large eggs are standard in recipes unless otherwise stated.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • All-purpose flour.
  • Salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Quick cooking oats. You can use rolled oats if you’d like, but the bars will have a totally different texture. The quick oats soak up the liquids in the recipe creating an easy-to-cut cookie bar.
  • Mini chocolate chips. We use mini chocolate chips because we like chocolate in every little part of the bars. You can use full size chips if you’d like.
oatmeal pouring into flour

How to Make Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

There are just 3 easy steps to making these oatmeal bars:

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
  • In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add to the wet ingredients and mix well. Then fold in the chocolate chips.
mini chocolate chips on oatmeal bar batter
  • Spread the batter in a greased 9×13 pan and bake the brownies at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

**Pro Tip: We like to bake these for 25 minutes, which leaves them just slightly underbaked.  If you like your brownies a little more “done”, add on another 3-4 minutes.  But we suggest taking them before they are too browned.  You’ll love the ooey, gooeyness that you get!**

Variations to the Oatmeal Bars:

If you want to get creative, try adding one or any combination of these!

  • Toffee bits
  • Caramel bits
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins
  • Butterscotch
  • Chocolate frosting on top (This would be sooooo sweet!)
  • Chopped Reese’s cups.
cookie bars in a bowl with ice cream

What would you serve these bars for?

Well…we make them just for an evening snack every couple months. I crave them! But they are perfect for:

  • Picnics
  • Bake sales
  • School lunches
  • Ice cream sundaes
  • Birthdays – Use as the base for a birthday cookie cake.
ice cream sundae with caramel

Can you freeze the chocolate chip oatmeal bars?

Yes you can! They freeze really well. Double wrap them and freeze for up to 3 months. 

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars in a bowl
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars in a bowl

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

4.50 from 6 votes
These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars {AKA… Michigan Tech Wives Brownies} are packed with brown sugar, oatmeal and chocolate chips in every bite!
Servings 20
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 pound brown sugar (about 2 ⅓ cups packed)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 12 ounces mini chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together using a stand mixer or hand mixer.
  • Add in the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
  • In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Then add in the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. The batter will be very thick.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake the brownies for 25 minutes* or until the edges are golden brown and the bars look slightly puffed all over.
  • The bars will be very gooey right when they come out of the oven. You can allow them to cool slightly before cutting so you get cleaner slices.
  • Best served warm with ice cream! Store in an airtight container.

Notes

*We like ours brownies to be just a bit underbaked. 25 minutes is perfect for us. If you’d like your brownies a little more done, add another 5 minutes.
The calories shown are based on the bars being cut into 20 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 bar. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.

Nutrition

Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 425IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2.3mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 329
Keyword bake sale, comfort food, picnic

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Melissa | Persnickety Plates
6 years ago

I love this story & the look of these brownies! I like my desserts BIG too =)

Cynthia
5 years ago

I am wondering if there was a Michigan Tech Wives cookbook?

Filumena
4 years ago

5 stars
What’s the difference between vanilla and vanilla extract?

Maggie
3 years ago

5 stars
This is the second time in 2 weeks making these wonderful brownies, my family loves them. This is a quick and easy recipe and took us a little under 12 mins to put it all together, throw them in the oven and dishes in the sink. Time well spent. Also we add a thin layer of already made chocolate icing on top of them when they are cooled. Thanks for sharing the recipe with the world!

Laurie
2 years ago

I wondered about the pound of brown sugar….should that be 1 cup?

Kate
2 years ago

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but how do you measure 1 pound of brown sugar since I keep my sugar in a cannister and don’t have the package still? I don’t have a kitchen scale and wasn’t sure if 16 ounces by volume (in a measuring cup) is the same as 1 lb. by weight.
The cookies look delicious! I can’t wait to make them using semi-sweet chocolate chips and a plant-based vegan butter. That way my dairy and peanut-allergic son will have a chocolate dessert he can enjoy.

Gay
9 months ago

How many regular chocolate chips would you use instead of mini chocolate chips?

Luanne
4 months ago

Can you freeze these uncooked?