Chocolate Revel Bars – Amish Romance with a side of Korean TV

 

Lately I’ve finally gotten around to trying a few recipes I’ve had on my “must make” list for well over a decade, today is one of them. I first read about Revel bars shortly after I got married when I was reading an Amish romance. I’m pretty sure it was a Beverly Lewis one. If you’ve never checked out any of her books but enjoy reading, I think you’ll be very pleased. I love when I can read something just for the pure pleasure (not because it is required as part of my job) and come out of it with a little wisdom to add to who I am.

I don’t remember which book this was, but in the story the main character got her family out of the house so she could make these secretly as a surprise for her mother’s birthday. I remember thinking “Now those must be some kind of good.” I sure wasn’t disappointed.

The thing I like about them is that they are sweet in the center, but overall they aren’t knock-you-down sweet. Of course, with the hearty dough, they are filling as well, which is another thing I really like in my cookies and treats because you get into a lot less trouble that way.

I’m on a bit of a tight deadline this month with my book editing due soon and another big project that will be released this summer, so I’ll keep it short and sweet and give y’all the recipe :)

You’ll need: Vanilla (cheap is fine, if you want to spend more money for the real stuff and it’s just burning a hole in your pocket, that’s fine too), brown sugar (light or dark), sweetened condensed milk, baking soda, eggs, butter, salt, quick oats, chocolate chips, and if you want to, about a teaspoon of instant coffee granules.*

Note: I added in the instant coffee part in order to help me get my recommended daily requirement of caffeine. It was delicious and just added a hint of somethin’ somethin’ to the bars but all of the original recipes leave it out so you just do whatever is easiest for you here. The bars will be yummy either way.

Before we get started, cut two tablespoons of butter from one of the sticks and set that aside to use in the filling later.

Place remaining butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until creamy.

Okay so I gotta tell you what I did last week. I know I said I was gonna keep this short and sweet so just skip over this part if you want :).

I’ve pretty much given up on American tv. I mean, we do soooo many things well in this country but the circus has taken hold of television networks and I decided long ago not to buy a ticket to that event. So other than Downton Abbey, reruns of the Waltons, Little House, and Dr Quinn, there isn’t a whole lot out there for me and you know I like to sit down and watch something from time to time (Update: I’ve quit Downton Abbey, too. Folks said I didn’t have a choice but to watch the last episode of season 2, but I actually do). So I’ve taken to watching Korean television. I know, that sounds really odd because if you had of told me a month ago that I would be watching television in which I had to rely on English subtitles to follow the story, I would have never believed you. (I usually find subtitles far too distracting) The thing is, Korean drama is really good and I’ve found a few other friends who love it just as much as I do. Okay, so seriously, if this is the first time I’ve seemed weird to you then you’re obviously not hanging out with me enough.

So I’ve been watching Korean television and I’ve picked up a few phrases, of course. Not my intent, but it just happens over time. I know a few Amish phrases, too, so imagine the fun I’d be at a party. Maybe I could pretend I was an Amish/Korean immigrant from the great state of Alabama.  

Anywho, where I live, although it is in Alabama, is not nearly as densely populated with Southerners as other areas of Alabama. In Huntsville, we have people from all over the world and I’d venture to say that the majority of people who live in our area are not from our area, which makes for a neat culture settled in the middle of the Heart of Dixie. I was in Sam’s the other day and was going over a series I had been watching in my head, mentally writing possible outcomes and wondering where it was going to go next (I always mentally write shows I watch, I do that with books too), and some people walked by me talking. I heard them speaking in Korean.

In my head I thought “Oh my goodness, I’m losing my mind, now English sounds like Korean to me!” I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I realized they were actually… Korean. Whew. Christy’s last remaining brain cell is still holding on!

You can watch Korean Drama on HuluPlus and I think Netflix, too. I started with a series called “Faith” which is also sometimes called “The Great Doctor”. It will take some getting used to because of cultural differences, but I’ve just really enjoyed the shows I’ve seen so far. I’m on my third series now and generally watch two or three episodes a week.

Once you got that all creamified, add in your other dough ingredients.

Like this.

Beat the tar out of that until it looks like this.

Pat 2/3 of that into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

This is really easy to pat out if you wet your hands first because that keeps it from sticking.

Now put your sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons butter, and instant coffee granules (if using those) in a microwave safe bowl.

This bowl is old as Methuselah and starting to show it.

Here is a top view of the bowl, in case you just really wanted to see it.

I did this post during our little Alabama Monsoon, where it rained for nearly a week straight. I try to do posts on sunny days so the pictures turn out better but after waiting three days to make these, I finally gave up and got to work.

Melt all of this in the microwave, for about thirty seconds at a time, stirring after each interval, until it is smooth and creamy

OR

Until you’re tired of fooling with it.

I love being able to say that. We’re not going for perfection here, we’re going for something that will taste good and it’s amazing how many recipes aren’t nearly as picky as recipes make them out to be.

Stir it up really really good if you added the coffee granules so they will dissolve in there.

Be sure you don’t use coffee, just the granules, because the water in the coffee will cause your chocolate to clot and become one big old mess.

Spread that over your crust.

Like this.

Isn’t that pretty?

Sprinkle the rest of your dough batter on top. I break off little clumps and just drop it over the chocolate until I run out.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

These travel really well and are perfect treats to send to work, school, or as gifts for friends.

Of course, you’ll need to sample a couple yourself first. ~grins~

 

Revel Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter or margarine (I use whichever I have)
  • 2 cups light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick oats (can use old fashioned)
  • Filling:
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (can use milk chocolate)
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

Instructions

  1. Take 2 tablespoons of butter and set aside to use in filling.
  2. In large mixing bowl, place remaining butter and brown sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Add all other dough ingredients and mix again until well combined.
  3. Pat 2/3 of mixture into bottom of greased 9x13 pan.
  4. Place all filling ingredients (including the 2 tablespoons of butter you set aside in step one) in a microwave safe bowl and cook at 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is completely melted. If adding instant coffee granules, stir well to make sure coffee granules are dissolved. Pour over crust and spread to the sides.
  5. Drop remaining dough in teaspoon sized drops over the chocolate.
  6. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
  7. These travel and pack well.
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Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.

~Erica Jong

 

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Comments

  1. Christine says

    Hi, I hope you’re still reading these comments…where do you find Korean dramas on tv? I was in an Asian-owned place today and the best looking show was on but the subtitles were in …whatever language they were in.. in whatever alphabet that was…and no one spoke enough English to tell me what the show was…but the show looked so interesting. Are you watching Korean tv with English subtitles, or do you hit your subtitle remote button and get English subtitles? It’s so funny, I saw the Asian actors and started getting interested in what was happening and I thought of you and this post.

    Anyhoo, if you’re still reading, I’d love to figure out how to watch that show and understand it, and of course it goes without saying that I love your blog! I haven’t tried the Revel bars yet but I know if I do they’ll be fantastic. :-)

    • says

      Hey! I watch them with English subtitles on viki.com. It’s free and there is also a great app from them for your ipad!
      The first kdrama I ever watched was Faith. The first couple of episodes were hard to get through but it paid off big time after those!
      Second drama I watched was Rooftop Prince. Also very good.
      Then City Hunter, which I loved.
      Also Queen in Hyuan’s Man was great.
      Just finished Boys Over Flowers and I just don’t know where to go after that one, I got so addicted I may need a twelve step program since I finished the entire series! ~wails for Jin Hoo, Gun Pyo, and Jan DI~
      I’m also watching Hundred Year Inheritance on Viki but its still ongoing (and its excellent!). They air new episodes (2 of them) each weekend but it takes until Tuesday or wed for the subtitle folks to get English subs on them.
      Hope this helps and thank you so much!

      • Christine says

        Thanks so much!!! I wonder if you know the one I was (trying to) watch. It had a good looking youngish guy who seemed to be the good guy, and two girls who seemed to by spys? spy-ish? And the bad guy was a little older with a thin mustache and a real chain smoking problem who seemed to like one of the girls, or at least he kept ending up where she was and she kept telling him to get lost.(I think) At first I thought it was set during WWII, but then it seemed modern so go figure. It looked so interesting but even the subtitles were Asian so no help to me! I’m definitely going to look up the ones you mentioned–you’re right, most of American tv isn’t worth watching.

        Oh, and I meant to add on my first post that I made the tater tot casserole the other night and my picky eaters loved it. It was a tasty, easy recipe–thanks!

  2. Deborah says

    I wanted to tell you that I posted this recipe of yours, on to “Just a Pinch”
    Justapinch.com, giving you all the credit They were so good I had to Share!
    I have been asked to make it over and over! My Family loves them!

    • says

      Thank you so much! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you giving me credit, too! Just A Pinch is notorious for not giving website credit and they tend to siphon off a good bit of traffic (which costs a good bit of money). I’ve contacted them several times about cases where they have taken my photos and recipes, sometimes entire blog posts, and posted as their own with no credit or permission and never got a response. When bloggers post recipes and they’re reposted, google penalizes us in the search rankings, so having credit given is a huge help when it comes to paying the light bill on our websites!
      Gratefully
      Christy

  3. Kay says

    I make a recipe close to this but mine calls for raisins to be added to chocolate mixture. They are great, I think I will try your recipe and see how I like it. Thanks for all the hard work.

  4. says

    Would you please consider praying for the female inmates in our Catholic ministry at a women’s prison? Some of the inmates convert to the Catholic faith while in prison and one in particular was baptized into the faith 3 years ago. She is desperately trying to change her life and was released to a halfway house with just the clothes on her back. Please pray for God to help her find a way to go to mass and to find support within the local Catholic community.

  5. Melanie Ross says

    These bars were cooling on my counter when I saw your post. I made them from Joy of Cooking (1984 printing) entitled Chocolate Oat Bars on page 702. Maybe that’s where Beverly Lewis found them.

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