Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars

I made these bar cookies this week for my husband to take to a meeting.  (He always signs up to bring a dessert.  I wonder why? ) Anyway, these can be put together pretty easily and the recipe makes a 13″ x 9″ pan full.  That way I get to keep about 6 squares for us at home and he takes the rest.  Any dessert with chocolate in it seems to call me repeatedly until its gone, so I have to protect myself from such temptation.

The basis of the cookie dough is a boxed yellow  cake mix to which butter, egg, and oatmeal is added to make a crumbly mixture.  Press half of it in the baking pan,  partially bake it, then layer chocolate chips and walnuts on top, drizzle with caramel syrup, and cover with the remaining crumb mixture.  Finish baking and Voila!  you have delicious, chewy, chocolaty bars.  Whenever I bring these somewhere, or serve them, I get asked for the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

Yield:  24 bars  Cut 6 rows x 4 rows

  • 1 boxed yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups Quick Oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1 Tablespoon flour

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13″ x 9″ pan.
  2. With electric mixer beat cake mix with the butter and egg till crumbly.  Stir in oats. Reserve 1 1/2 cup oat mixture.
  3. Press remaining crumbs into baking pan.   Bake  14 – 18 minutes until light golden brown.  Do not over bake.
  4. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over hot crust.
  5. Mix caramel syrup with the 1 T. flour.  Drizzle over chips and nuts.
  6. Use the reserved crumb mixture to sprinkle over the top.  Pat down lightly.
  7. Bake for another 20 – 25 minutes till golden brown.  Its best not to over bake these as they will get very firm and hard to remove from the pan.  Allow to cool slightly, and run a knife around the edges to loosen caramel from pan while still warm.  When cooled completely, cut into bars.    Makes about 24 bars.

SOURCE:    Taste of Home Annual Recipes, 2000

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