Oatmeal Caramel Bars

INGREDIENTS:

  • 32 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped OR homemade caramel (recipe below)
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream (omit this if you’re making homemade caramel)
  • 2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats (quick or old fashioned, or a mixture)
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or Dark Chocolate chopped)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream, stirring occasionally until smooth (or make homemade caramel using the recipe below).
  3. Line a 9×13 inch pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted butter until well blended.
  5. Press a little more than half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan. Reserve the rest.
  6. Bake the crust for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate. Pour the caramel mixture over the top and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over everything.
  7. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20-22 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted.
  8. Allow to cool completely. Pull the entire thing out of the pan using the edges of the foil/parchment.
  9. Cut into squares with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.
Caramel
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

METHOD:

  1. In a large heavy saucepan, combine cream, corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Once it’s boiling, clip on the candy thermometer and cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 110 degrees.
  2. Remove pan from heat, carefully add vanilla extract and stir. Pour into a heat-proof bowl and set aside while you prepare the bars.
Note: If you decide to use this homemade caramel, you’re likely to end up with a little extra caramel to eat on the side.
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