wicked chocolate-caramel bars

dscn4755I am unintentionally on a caramel sauce recipes kick.  This not a good thing.  There are worse things, to be sure, but why is it that I’m rarely on a lentil, brown rice or kidney bean kick?  I must admit, though, that although this kick might not be healthy as some others, the taste is more than making up for it.

It all started when I made ice cream balls last week.  I couldn’t possibly have the ice cream without some homemade caramel sauce, so I whipped up a quick batch of that, too.  But any kind of ice cream doesn’t last long around this house, so I was left with a big, yummy jar of caramel sauce staring me in the face every time I open the refrigerator (which is quite often, unfortunately).  And a jar of caramel sauce does me no good unless I have something to pour it over.  And so…

…next came the Cinnamon Bread Puddings.  Those lasted exactly two days, with the leftovers going into the freezer for another day – this was my attempt at food overdose prevention.  Yes, I am strong and have willpower; no need to eat the entire batch, right?

Right.  This burst of strength, however, lasted one lousy day.  ONE.  It’s really not my fault though…that damn jar of caramel just looooves to egg me on.  What could I do but make it go away for good?

And so, my friends, that is how I ended up making these wickedly delicious chocolate-caramel bars.  Oats, caramel and chocolate, all baked together into one sweet, gooey piece of loveliness.  I just might need to make another batch of caramel! Thankfully I have all these delicious caramel sauce recipes to use it with!

chocolate-caramel bars

  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups plus 3 T. of flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup homemade or store-bought caramel sauce

Preheat your oven to 350.

Cream together your softened butter and brown sugar.  dscn4743

Yes, there is both light and dark brown sugar in the photo above.  I didn’t seem to have enough brown sugar, so I tossed in some dark.  Didn’t seem to matter a bit!

Add 2 cups of flour, the baking soda and salt and mix well.

Add the oats, and stir well some more.  Your mixture will be THICK.

Press half the mixture in the bottom of a well-greased 9×13 pan, preferably glass.  I spray a sandwich bag with cooking spray, then place my hand inside and use as a sort of glove – I hate getting my hands goopy.  If you don’t mind goopy hands, I still suggest spraying your hands with cooking spray as it will make this a much easier – and less sticky – job.

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Bake for 10 minutes.

After baking the crust, sprinkle chocolate chips over the crust.  Use more or less to taste.

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Mix the last 3 T. of flour with the caramel sauce until thoroughly combined (microwave your sauce to make it easily mixable if you need to).  Pour caramel mixture over the chocolate chips.

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Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture over the chocolate and caramel…mmmm!!!

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Bake for another 15 minutes.  You can eat these immediately, but be prepared for a gooey, sticky mess.  You’ll need to wait for these babies to cool completely if you’d like to eat them out of hand.

They would be amazing served right out of the oven, over vanilla ice cream…you know, just in case you don’t have my strength and  willpower! ;-)

Enjoy!

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