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Sam baked revel bars and I wondered where this dessert originated



You might have seen revel bars at Starbucks or some other cafe, you might have thought they were just another form of brownies or you might have even thought that they were a dieter’s version of brownies. Revel bars aren’t exactly brownies and although oat is an essential ingredient, revel bars, like brownies and blondies, contain a substantial amount of butter and sugar.

Sam baked revel bars and I wondered where this dessert originated |

My daughters love revel bars. We were on a food trip at Marikina’s Lilac Street recently and, after a delicious meal at Tamagoya! we decided to have coffee and dessert at Pink Chiffon. I had a cupcake-sized cheesecake, Speedy had a carrot cupcake, Alex had double chocolate mousse and Sam had a revel bar. Coffee was so-so; the pastries were a huge disappointment. Whether it was that disappointment that prompted her, a couple of days later, Sam was busy in the kitchen making her version of revel bars which, a mother’s bias aside, are so good she ought to be selling them.

What is a revel bar? It is a cookie bar with a layer of chocolate ganache sandwiched between the top and bottom layers of cookie dough. Where the revel bar originated took a while to hunt down. I found only one theory and whether it is accurate or not, I cannot confirm. But in a comment thread on Baking Bites, a reader named Lori wrote, “I believe they originated with the Revel family as a lovely young lady named Tracy Revel used to make them in the Sacramento/Folsom area going back to about 1999 – 2002. She was in our IT department at a very large corporation there and she used to make them and bring them to work between Thanksgiving & Christmas, much to delight of her co-workers…”

Sam didn’t share her recipe but I was just in the next room when she was baking and she asked every now and then where the ingredients were. She asked if she could substitute rolled oats for instant oats, and if the amount should be adjusted. She also needed instructions on using the new stand mixer. So, I had a good idea what went into the revel bars. Flour, butter, sugar, rolled oats, dark chocolate, cream condensed milk, almonds, chopped cashew nuts… But how much of each ingredient Sam used and what procedure she followed… ah, those are her secrets.