Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Oatmeal Caramel BarsHello all! I am sorry to say I am still having issues with my site so postings might be a bit sporadic.  I will keep you informed via Facebook with updates and maybe even recipes when I can’t get my blog site to work.  So ‘like’ Brittany’s Pantry if you want to be kept in the loop!  Right now, I am extremely grateful for our iPad since it seems to be the only electronic device that I can work from right now.  Although today, I am not complaining!  It is a beautiful, sixty degree morning with nary a cloud in sight!  We have been to the Farmer’s Market, gorged ourselves on fresh baked croissants and sipped dark, creamy hot chocolates while we shopped, finished off the last of the seasons wild blueberries with our lunch, and now I am curled up on my screen porch in a fuzzy sweatshirt, listening to the afternoon breeze blow through the branches of the enormous, towering oak trees that surround our house.  I plan on making and freezing some pasta sauce with the heirloom tomatoes we picked up this morning, but for now, I am snacking on these and loving the fact that I am practically forced to sit out here in this beautiful weather and write to you.  Lots of arm twisting going on here….

These bars nearly have me at a loss for words.  They are so good, so decadent, and so gooey, that they elicit groans from all who enjoy them.  They are sweet and rich and absolutely indulgent.  Make no mistake–these are definitely a treat.  A pan of bars to make and share with those around you.  Yes, I said share.  You may want to eat a whole pan of these–and yes, you really are going to want to eat a whole pan of these–but resist!  The satisfaction is temporary!  Your bathroom scale and your cardiologist can confirm this!  In this instance however, I will understand if you cave.  This is a safe place.  No judgement.

This recipe is from my neighbor, a wonderful baker who, I have mentioned before, is famous for her chocolate chip cookies.  This same sort of recipe exists out there in a dozen different varieties, but this particular version is my favorite.  A buttery, oatmeal crust, chocolate and caramel… straightforward and simply fantastic.  There are a few separate steps, but nothing too time consuming or difficult.  It is a fun recipe for kids to help with too.  And it is a perfectly wonderful make-ahead dessert for company.  Just don’t blame me if they try one and then never want to leave.  Blame my neighbor!
Oatmeal Caramel BarsOne Year  Ago:  Panzanella Salad, Granola, & Summer Berry Pudding
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Oatmeal Caramel Bars
Adapted from Kathie Temple, friend of Brittany’s Pantry

Using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or wooden spoon, combine in a large bowl:
2 c flour
2 c rolled oats
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 c very soft butter
When well combined, press two thirds of the mixture into a lightly sprayed 9X13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, combine:
1 1/2 c caramel topping or 1-12 oz jar
1/3 c flour
Mix with a whisk until smooth.  Remove crust from oven and sprinkle with:
Half a bag of chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)
Evenly pour the caramel mixture over the pan and sprinkle the reserved oat mixture over top.  Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  COOL COMPLETLY!  If you try to cut these when warm they will ooze all over.  Yummy, but not the effect we are looking for!  These are best cut into 24 bars.  Store in a cool place or the fridge.