Sunday, November 13, 2011

Oatmeal Caramel Bars

My friend, Tammy, gave me this out-of-this-world Martha Stewart cookie bar recipe years has since become one of my most beloved recipes! They always get lots of praise and everyone always asks me for this recipe. So, here it is! Enjoy!

48 soft caramel-candy cubes (1 whole bag does the trick!)
1/2 c heavy cream
2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F

Coat a 9X13" baking pan with cooking spray. Line with a 9X21" sheet of parchment paper, leaving a 2" overhang on each short side (this will help you lift the bars out of the pan once they have baked and cooled). Give the parchment a light spray of cooking spray.

Put the caramels and cream in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramels are melted, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Blend in butter with a fork or your fingertips (I use my fingers- it's messy, but easier!) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press half the mixture onto the bottom of the lined pan. Bake until just set and starting to color around the edges, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the baked crust with chocolate chips; drizzle the caramel mixture over the chips and crust and spread until smooth and even. Top with remaining crumb mixture. Use a spatula or your hands (I use my hands, of course- again, it's messy, but easier!) to gently press the crumbs into the caramel. Bake until pale golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan (I always let it sit for an hour). Use the overhanging parchement to lift the bars from the pan. Cut into squares.

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