There are good no-bake bars, and then there are really amazing no-bake bars that people gush over and remember for months to come. These are most certainly the latter. Take my word on it for now, but one bite and you'll become a believer.
What makes this double-layered treat of brown butter- and marshmallow-coated oats so special is the streak of salted chocolate through the center. Best of all, we make these on the stovetop the same way we do Rice Krispies treats so, yes, they are just as easy to make!
No-Bake Salted Chocolate Oatmeal Bars:
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Upgrade with Mix-ins (If You Want)
One of the best things about these bars (yes, even better than gooey marshmallow-coated oats!) is that they can be loaded up with mix-ins. In our classic iteration, these bars are layered with a thick stripe of rich, sea salt-flecked chocolate that runs between the gooey layers of oatmeal.
You can stop there, or give them a quick upgrade by swirling a little something extra into the chocolate for a crunchy or chewy bite. Take your pick of ingredients — dried fruit, toasted almonds or cashews, flaky coconut, or crushed pretzels are all fair game.
No-Bake Salted Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
For the bars:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons flaky salt, divided
3 cups mini marshmallows
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped, toasted nuts
1/2 cup crushed pretzels
Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment or wax paper.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and the chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl in 20-second bursts, stirring between each burst, or over a double boiler, until the chocolate is just melted. Stir together until smooth.
Transfer about 1/2 cup of the melted chocolate to a small bowl and set aside. Stir 1 teaspoon of the salt and any mix-ins into the remaining chocolate mixture; set aside
Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon so that it melts evenly. Once the butter begins to foam, watch carefully, as it will quickly begin to brown and emit a nutty aroma. When browned, remove from the heat. Add the marshmallows and stir continuously until completely melted. Add the oats and stir until well-coated.
Transfer 1/2 of the oat mixture to the prepared pan. Using a fork, gently press the oats into an even layer. Pour the chocolate with the salt and mix-ins over the oats and spread into an even layer. Top with the remaining oats, and gently press into an even layer. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup of melted chocolate over the top of the oats, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. When ready to serve, let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Grasping the parchment or wax paper, remove the slab from the pan to a cutting board and cut into 16 pieces.
Make ahead: The bars can be made up to 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator.
Storage: Store the bars in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.