Oh boy. Have I got the treat for you today! You will love these. Your family will love these. You will not want to share. You will baby-sit the pan, scarfing straight from it, giving anyone who approaches the evil eye. Maybe even a possessive growl or two. You will find yourself looking for hiding places in the back of your cabinets, in the back of the freezer, in the washing machine for heaven's sake. There's something about the combination of caramel candies, oatmeal, and chocolate chips. Once the caramel candies melt and become ooey-gooey, they gel the bars together in the best possible way. I know I tell you guys to try a lot of things, but trust me. These are the creme de la creme of recipes.
I honestly can't believe it's taken so long for me to share them. I made these for my dad's birthday in April. Can you believe I've been hiding them from y'all for so long? I can't. I got a call from my dad immediately after he received them in the mail. Love at first bite.
Caramel plays a large part in these bars, so don't skimp. Go with a good brand, that you know you like. You can never go wrong with Werther's. I used the Werther's soft caramels for baking, instead of the harder variety. Worked perfectly. As an alternative, you could also just use a jar of caramel or dulce de leche. I'd use half the jar.
A couple pieces of advice with this treat. It would be extremely hard to cut these into bars and remove them from the pan immediately upon baking, if not impossible. I found I got the best bars if I allowed the pan to cool completely. I'm talking a good 2 hours. Then, place the pan in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours. You'll then find that a knife slices easily through the bars, and it's not nearly the train wreck it could be getting those gooey bars out of the pan.
My second piece of advice?
Find a way to get these out of the house! Immediately! Send them to work with your husband. Take them to your chocaholic neighbor. Give them to your best friend when she's at the height of PMS. Just don't keep them in the house. And if you do, I can only say, I told you so. Don't come crying to me when you've ate the whole pan in the span of 45 minutes :)
Once again, I've got a to-do list that's daunting. The little bro flies in tomorrow morning, and the hubby and I were pretty lazy this weekend. We didn't get a whole lot done. We discovered "Scandal" on Netflix and that's all she wrote. Addicts, we are. That leaves me with a ton of laundry, driving to Ashland to get new lamps for the bedroom, general cleaning, making a couple of treats, making dinner, and mowing the backyard. Yikes.
The hubby hung the pictures in the bedroom above the bed last night. It's crazy how just adding pictures to a room completely changes the vibe. We also picked out the lamps we want, and I'm super-excited about them. They were out at our local Lowe's, hence why I'm heading to Ashland today. They are turquoise, and I think they are going to add the perfect pop of color to the room.
The mattress is getting delivered tomorrow! We have everything else, so I'm at that point where I can't sit still I'm so excited.
So, I guess I better get to it! And seriously friends, MAKE these. Make them NOW.
Ingredients (makes 12 bars):
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
35 caramel candies, unwrapped (I used Werther's Baking Caramels)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 9 x 9 square pan with aluminum foil (I would highly recommend lining pan due to the stickiness of the caramel). Set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and vanilla, whisk until smooth. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt to the bowl. Mix until combined, mixture will be thick.
3. Add half the oat mixture to the pan, smooth so it's even. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside.
4. While the crust bakes, make the caramel sauce. Place the caramels and cream in a double-broiler. Heat over medium heat until the caramels are melted and the sauce is combined. Pour the caramel sauce over the baked crust. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the caramel. Drop the rest of the oat mixture evenly over the top of the chocolate. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned and the center is starting to bubble.
5. Allow bars to cool completely!!! Cool in pan, on counter for 2 hours. After 2 hours, place bars in the fridge for 1-2 hours, or overnight. After chilling, cut into 12 bars. Serve immediately! Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
|Recipe by Averie Cooks.|
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Linked to: Treasure Box Tuesday, Create It Thursday, Thank Goodness It's Thursday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party, Snickerdoodle Sunday