May 23, 2011

spring treats #6: Caramel Oatmeal Bars

i made these delicious bars last week, and i have been dying to share them with you. my friend Maureen showed me this recipe from Martha Stewart, and I don't know why it took me so long to make them.
I guess it's because sometimes I feel as though I am just really hit and miss with good old Martha.
I mean, let's be real, she is THE domestic goddess...
but she has soooo many recipes that it's kind of impossible for them all to be perfect.
but i decided to try these Caramel Oatmeal Bars out and they were to die for.
layers of gooey caramel and melted chocolate, with a crisp streusel oatmeal top and a soft oatmeal crust.
this description sounds fantastic, and it's not even the actual dessert!
you have to make these.
plus, they're not even tough to make. 

Caramel Oatmeal Bars
adapted from Martha Stewart
48-50 soft caramel squares (about one bag)
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 c. old-fashioned oats
2 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 sticks butter, slightly cold and cut into small pieces
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Line the pan bottom with parchment paper, leaving a two inch overhang over the two sides of the pan. 
Put caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. stir occasionally until the caramels are melted and combined with the cream. Let cool.
In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt. Blend in the butter with either a fork or your fingers, mixing until it makes a coarse meal.
Press half of the oat mixture into the bottom of the pan, and bake until just set; 20 minutes. 
Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the crust with chocolate chips, then drizzle the caramel sauce over the chocolate chips. Top with remaining oat mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes, until pale golden. 
Let cool completely in the pan, then serve.

enjoy! :)