My family cooks from scratch. We do this exclusively and almost to the point of snobbery; it creates a sort of anxious struggle for our friends between really delicious food and and really annoying cooks. When I was little and we’d have people over for birthdays, they would be shocked at how good our cakes tasted. “That’s because you’re probably used to store-bought,” my dad would scoff.
I cringe a little thinking about that, but it’s hard to grasp the power of butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract if you haven’t creamed them together in the bowl of your mixer and then caught a drip off of the beaters. Some people have joked that it’s love that makes the things I bake taste good; I suppose that may be, but my hunch is that it’s really just butter.
Case in point: this “bark,” a hybrid of a few recipes I picked up around the Interwebs that I then re-worked to meet the gluten-free preferences of my boss, probably isn’t perfect. What it is, however, is chock full of real butter, rich brown sugar, and chocolate chips, and that should be good enough for anybody.
Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookie Bark
1 3/4 cups rice flour
1 cup oats
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together rice flour, oats, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, sugars, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Slowly stir in dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by 1/4-cupfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula (you may want to oil it lightly), spread dough to thickness of chocolate chips. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely, then break into pieces.