Ashley and I both made these bars independently. When I asked her how she liked them, she said it perfectly, “This is what a cookie bar should be!” We’ve both noticed that all too often the cookie bars at bakeries, delis, etc, just don’t match the expectation we have in our heads. Could be a hidden and unwelcome fruitiness, maybe not enough chocolate, just plain dry, or outright bland. Well these chocolate caramel bars will NOT disappoint. They have plenty of caramel, chocolate, butter and gooey goodness, along with just the right amount of crunch. See? Everything a cookie bar should be.
Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Squares
Martha Stewart Cookies
yields 24 – 30 bars
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- 48 soft caramel-candy cubes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.