So, I’m not really a fan of oatmeal.
I’ve talked about trying to be better about eating the most important meal of the day. But a bowl of soggy, heavy oats is NOT going to be the thing to change my breakfast habits. I think it might be a texture thing. In my head, warm and mushy oats are the opposite of inviting. I have a feeling I should give it another try, because people love oatmeal for breakfast! And besides, I do adore oatmeal cookies.
I prefer oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips instead of raisins. Sometimes I throw a little shredded coconut in there, too. When I saw the recipe for Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars come across my Pinterest page, I knew I’d be making them for the big shindig this weekend!
An oat-y crust with chocolate and caramel layers? Yum! The only thing I didn’t already have in my pantry was a bag of caramels!
Peeling the wrappers off of 40 caramels was actually quite relaxing. I set them aside and mixed up the crust layer. Flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and a little sprinkle of coconut for good measure. Why not?
Once I combined those dry ingredients, I melted a little bowl of butter, let it cool a bit, and poured it right in. The mixture was a little moist but mostly crumbly.
I poured most of the buttery-oat mixture into a glass baking dish and pressed it firmly into a crust. Then it went into a 350 oven for 15 minutes or so. The kitchen began to smell like a fabulous oatmeal cookie. YUM.
For the caramel layer, I simply poured some half-and-half into the bowl of unwrapped caramels and popped it into the microwave for 20 seconds at a time until it was melty enough to stir. The texture was lumpy at first, but with a little stirring, it became smooth and heavenly.
The crust came out of the oven and I poured a whole bag of chocolate chips right on top (except for the one or two that may or may not have landed directly in my mouth). I quickly spread the chips around before the melted too much so that each part of the pan had chocolate in it. Next, I poured the caramel cream over the chocolate chips and spread it around with the back of a spoon.
I love everything about all of this.
I’d saved about ¼ of the crust mixture, which I now sprinkled over the top of the bars. I added some shredded coconut, then popped it back into the oven for another 15 minutes. And that’s all, folks!
When the timer went off, I had to remind myself that I made these Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars for the party this weekend- it was hard not to dive right in to the pan!
There’s no way these bars can be bad. Look at the little browned bits of coconut on top! Pssst- I also scooped a taste of caramel cream from the bowl and topped the spoon with rogue chocolate chips- magical!
If I could find oatmeal that tastes like this, I might rethink my relationship with breakfast.
Stay tuned for more Summer Fiesta Bliss!
Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars (adapted from Pinch of Yum)
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 1 ½ cup oats
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup shredded coconut
- 9 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips
- 40 soft caramels, unwrapped
- 6 tablespoons half-and-half
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, salt, and half of the coconut in a large mixing bowl. Pour the melted/cooled butter into the bowl and stir to combine. The crust mixture should be crumbly.
Press ¾ of the dough into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
Melt the caramels and cream in a bowl in the microwave. Stir until it becomes smooth and pourable.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over the baked crust. Pour the melted caramel over the chocolate chips and spread over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture over the top. Sprinkle the remaining coconut over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes, until the coconut starts to brown. Try not to eat the whole pan for breakfast as a substitute for oatmeal. YUM!
**Check out a full list of recipes on the Food Bliss link above!**