Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Oatmeal Bars

"Annie Jess, your cookies good!"

That's what my 3 (almost 4) year old niece thinks of these 'cookies'.

She's incredibly complimentary of cookies.... and cakes....... and rice krispie squares.
 Not so much when it comes to cooked vegetables......."Annie Jess, this yuck."

Oh well, I can't win them all.

I think the adults who tried these bars thought they were good too. My brother cut himself a huge slice before he'd even tasted it. 
(The things I make are usually pretty good but a recent experience with a certain gelatinous chai creation will probably make him think twice before cutting himself giant chunks of my desserts without first sampling ;)

The recipe for these bars calls for soft caramel cubes but since I didn't have them and the 5 min drive to the grocery store was much to far to go, I substituted butterscotch chips. They worked wonderfully. However, I'd definitely like to try them with the caramel next time. I think it would upgrade them from wonderful to spectacular. They have quite a bit of salt in them which gives them a great sweet/salty combo.

Make them today and then make them again tomorrow. 
It's the right thing to do.

Oatmeal Bars
Makes 12 squares
Barely Adapted from the wonderful Martha Stewart

48 soft cube caramels (or 1 ½ cups butterscotch chips)
½ cup heavy cream
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter 
1 cups chocolate chip

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13- inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line with a 9-by-21-inch sheet of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each short side. Put caramels and cream in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramels are melted, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and the salt in a large bowl. Blend in butter with a fork or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal; press half of mixture onto bottom of lined pan. Bake until just set and starting to color around edges, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle crust with chocolate chips; drizzle with caramel mixture. Top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake until pale golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.

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