Oatmeal Caramel Bars

14 Nov

Oatmeal Caramel Bars | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
I think these Oatmeal Caramel Bars may have been the predecessor to the slutty brownie. They are scandalously delicious (based off the noises people make when they eat them) and they’re really quite easy to make. I’ve often heard this type of bar referred to as a “Carmelita,” which sounds rather saucy as well, like a Spanish go-go dancer. The oatmeal and lack of pre-packaged dough makes these a little more wholesome though (if melted caramel, heavy cream, brown sugar and butter is your idea of wholesome – passes my test) So, perhaps the Carmelita is an 18th century king’s mistress and the slutty brownies are, um, strippers?

Like any good mistress, the key to these bars is not to over bake the bottom layer. Wow, embarrassing… I have no idea where I was going with that simile. Anyway, if you over bake the bottom layer, the bars won’t slice well, they’ll crack. Plus, a soft and chewy oatmeal layer beats a rock hard oatmeal layer any day.

Once again, it was good ole AllRecipes.com that brought me this recipe, but I did make several changes because I like a thicker bar and needed to adjust accordingly for a 9×13 pan. The original recipe calls for chocolate chips and walnuts to be tossed on top of the caramel layer, but I always liked them better without the chocolate or nuts.

Oatmeal Caramel Bars | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
If you’re not a fan of soaking and scrubbing your baking pans, I suggest you line yours with aluminum foil when you make these. It’s also a good idea to not spread the caramel all the way to the edges of the oatmeal layers so that the caramel doesn’t burn and petrify against the foil (or your pan if you’re not using foil).

Sidenote: these are great to make with a kid, because they can unwrap all the caramels for you, help press the oatmeal mixture into the pan and you don’t have to use the word “slutty” while making them!

Oatmeal Caramel Bars
adapted from AllRecipes.com

32 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped (14 oz bag)
7 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream, stirring occasionally until smooth. Keep an eye on the caramel and don’t let it burn.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted butter until well blended. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan. Reserve the rest.

Bake the crust for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Pour the caramel mixture over the top and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over everything.

Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 – 18 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted.

2 Responses to “Oatmeal Caramel Bars”

  1. The Smart Cookie Cook November 15, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Oh lord. I need one of these RIGHT NOW. They look so gooey and incredible!

    • Red November 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      Do it!

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