Saturday, November 9, 2013

Caramel-Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

Sweet Caramelitas from Our Best Bites

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I like to toast them first)
30 caramels (9 ounces), unwrapped
3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 15×10 inch baking pan with foil, leaving about 1 inch extending over the edges of the pan. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar.  Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Add eggs, vanilla, baking soda and salt; beat until combined.  Add flour slowly and mix until combined.  Stir in the oats. Press 2/3 of the dough (about 3 1/3 cups) evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Sprinkle with chocolate pieces and nuts.

In a medium saucepan heat and stir the caramels and milk over low heat until melted and smooth. Drizzle caramel mixture over chocolate and nuts.  Take remaining dough and flatten small pieces with fingers and place evenly on top of the caramel layer.  Bake for 22-25 minutes or until top is just barely light brown, don’t overbake!.  Cool in pan on a wire rack until room temperature.  Use foil to lift uncut bars out of pan.  Place on cutting board; cut into bars.