The Decadent Bar Version of a Classic Cookie: Roasted White Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Bars

Caramelized white chocolate seems to be moving from the niche ingredient category into the mainstream -- I keep seeing more recipes that specifically include it as an ingredient. I love it and because it's so delicious, I often use caramelized white chocolate in recipes that call for regular white chocolate. I always have caramelized white chocolate on hand because I just buy it instead of taking the time required to caramelize regular white chocolate myself. (I started out buying Cacao Barry Zéphyr Caramel, but last year I couldn't find it in stock anywhere and I switched to Callebaut Gold. I've stuck with Callebaut Gold because I like it as much as the Zéphyr Caramel and it's less expensive.) 

Edd Kimber's "Roasted White Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars" have an oatmeal raisin cookie base topped with caramelized white chocolate ganache. You make the base by pouring the liquid ingredients (a mixture of butter melted with golden syrup, brown sugar, milk powder, baking soda, and water) into the dry ingredients (flour, oats, and salt); adding raisins; and stirring to combine. You press the mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined pan and bake until golden. 
The baking time specified in the recipe is 25-30 minutes, but when I checked the pan at 25 minutes, the base looked alarmingly dark and way past golden. I didn't want to risk using a burnt cookie layer, so I made a second base that I baked for 15 minutes. Even after only 15 minutes, it was nicely golden. (I did end up tasting the first base I made, and while it was overbaked, it was not burned. I could have used it -- but I'm happy I went with my second attempt and in the future I would definitely bake the base for less than 25 minutes.)
I let the baked base cool for a few minutes before pouring on the ganache, which is simply a mixture of caramelized white chocolate and heavy cream. I put the bars in the fridge to chill and sprinkled on Maldon salt before the ganache was set.

The ganache set nicely and the bars sliced cleanly. I thought they were very good. The oatmeal cookie layer was very chewy (but was firm enough to form a sturdy base), and the ganache was rich and just on the verge of being too sweet -- but the salt on top helped cut through the sweetness. I thoroughly enjoyed these bars, but honestly, I thought that the ganache was a bit gratuitous. The base cookie was delicious all on its own, and I'm not accustomed to eating an oatmeal cookie topped with a thick layer of ganache. These bars have all of the flavors of a classic oatmeal-raisin cookie, but the ganache makes them extra decadent!

Recipe: "Roasted White Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars" from One Tin Bakes by Edd Kimber. The recipe in the cookbook is essentially equivalent to this recipe for "Oatmeal Raisin Flapjack Bars" on Edd's website, but scaled up to fit a 9-inch by 13-inch pan; I think the only significant difference is that the cookbook recipe has twice as much baking soda in proportion to the other ingredients.