Tuesday, September 24, 2013

caramel oat bars with chocolate

i have so many pics to go through from my summer that i just can't seem to find the time to deal. instead, i baked.

i am gonna say 1 quick thing about unsalted butter. it's dumb. there is nothing more annoying than prepping a whole area to bake, knowing you have all the ingredients, and then reading "unsalted butter" on your recipe card. 
who the heck keeps unsalted butter in their fridge? why go use unsalted butter and then have to add a bunch of salt anyway? dumb. i refuse it. so if the recipe calls for unsalted butter, just know that if you are at my house eating that cookie, it has salted butter and salt. that's all.


caramel oat bars with chocolate (and salted butter).

this is the longest i have ever taken in making a cookie bar. i spent the first 30 minutes with one foot out the door, keys in hand, contemplating trekking to the grocer to get unsalted damn butter. 
eventually once you decide your family is gonna have the salted (let's just call it 'regular' butter because i mean really) butter then it takes a whole whopping 10 minutes to make. i made these (and ate these) in less time than it took to get over the butter dilemma.
so basically what i am trying to say is make these. make them now. make them with regular butter. in 10 minutes. or go through your summer photos and save yourself 8000 calories.

i shoulda probably just gone through the summer photos. damn salted butter.

 caramel oat bars

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans 

30 caramels, unwrapped
3 tablespoons milk

preheat oven to 350 degrees.  line a 8x10 or 9x12 inch baking pan with foil, leaving about 1 inch extending over the edges of the pan. 

in a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. add brown sugar beating until combined. add eggs, vanilla, baking soda and salt; beat until combined. add your flour and mix until combined.  
stir in the oats.  
press 2/3 of the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.  sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts.

in a medium sauce pan heat and stir the caramels and milk over low heat until melted and smooth. (*you can substitute caramels for a 12 oz. jar of caramel ice cream topping if you wish, just mix in 3 tablespoons of flour with the caramel sauce.*)
drizzle caramel mixture over chocolate and nuts.  

take remaining dough and flatten small pieces with fingers placing evenly over the caramel layer.  bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is just barely light brown, careful not to over bake!.  
cool in pan and use foil to lift uncut bars out of pan.  
cut into bars.