Friday, April 12, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars

 Do you instagram?

You might want to, hint, hint....

I don't know what it is with a gooey, warm, chocolatey, caramely bar that makes my mouth start to water and my brain to start screaming "EAT THIS NOW!!!" or "DON'T SHARE!!!".

Seriously. It's pretty pathetic but oh so true. I try to stay out of them but as soon as it comes out of the oven, I want to immediately start picking at the edges to just "try" a little bit. I can't hardly leave it alone.

And for my defense neither can most of my family. Everybody wants a piece but nobody has the patience to wait a little bit till they are cool.  I think we have a problem. The "i can't stay out of delicious gooey oatmeal bars" problem.  

Anybody else have this problem?

If you do you better make these.  You will totally feel better, well as long as you don't eat the whole pan. Good thing it only makes an 8x8. Whew!!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars

(click here for printable version)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt
1 egg
10 tbsp salted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8x8 baking dish and set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine and break up lumps. In another small bowl, beat egg with the melted butter and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients. Mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips. Press half of the oat mixture evenly into the bottom of your prepared dish. Bake for 10 minutes.

3. While the bottom half of the bars are baking make the caramel sauce. Melt butter over medium low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 salt. Bring to a very low boil, stirring constantly. Let it cook over very low, gentle heat, so that the mixture is just barely bubbling. Let cook for about 5-8 minutes (should be a little thick at this point), remove from heat and stir in baking powder until the caramel is smooth.

4. Once the bottom layer of the bars are done, immediately pour the caramel over top. Then top with the remaining half of the oatmeal dough. Don't worry if the dough does not cover the whole top of the caramel. It will spread as it bakes and who doesn't love gooey caramel peeking up in places. Then place the bars back in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

5. Let cool at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving. They will still be a gooey but will hold their shape somewhat well. You can also cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

Source: Half Baked Harvest
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