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Halachot of Berachot  

Q44) I have a question about some cookie bars I made last night. Basically the way they're made is by melting together sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and milk, boiling it, then removing it from the heat and stirring in rolled oats and peanut butter. As soon as I finished making them I realized I had just made myself a safek bracha because of the oats and I did not know if I should make mezonos or haadamah. The oats are really the main bulk of the cookies. Does stirring oats into boiling hot liquid count as cooking, enough to make them mezonos? The oats remained very chewy, almost hard, and did not get soft.

A44) Thanks for the great question. Here's the breakdown of my thinking:

 

1) If the oatmeal cookies have regular flour it would be mezonot (based on the general rule that foods with flour of the five grains is mezonot, see S”A 208:2).


2) If the cookies don't have flour but have oats as the primary ingredient, either because it is the primary reason a person would eat this or because it is the majority, then the oats are considered ikar and the bracha on cookies depends on the bracha for the oats (the general rules of ikar and tofel are discussed in S”A 212).


2a) If the oats are crushed or broken and then cooked the bracha is mezonot (S”A 208:2). Oatmeal is ground oat groats (meaning that they are made from whole oats but are crushed and broken) and so they are mezonot if they are considered cooked.


2b) If the oats are raw (similar to granola, see footnote 1 of http://berachot.org/halacha/26_Bracha_on_Snack_Bars.html) or are whole (even if they are cooked), the bracha is haadama (S”A 208:4).


3) I asked Rav Hershel Schachter if it made a difference if the oats were added when the chocolate liquid was on the fire or if was added after it was taken off, and he said that it didn't matter, however, what does matter is that it would only be mezonot if the oats are considered cooked according to what is normally considered cooked (and that certainly takes longer than 30 seconds) such as being softened (which is more likely to happen if it is left in the hot liquid on the fire than if it wasn't on the fire). So, if the oats were still very chewy and not softened I think it would be haadama. 


4) If the oats are instant oatmeal, then they are already cooked and so they most likely would be considered mezonot even if they aren't cooked later on.


 

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