Happy Valentine's Day peeps! Thanks to Pinterest, I still have a bucketload of Valentine projects and recipes I wanted to try but just didn't have the time for. I guess they'll just have to wait till next year.
This recipe for Caramel Oatmeal Bars has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. We called them Carmalitas, and we made them all the time. I LOVE them. Which makes them perfect for Valentine's Day, no? They are similar to my Caramel Brownies. Don't ask me which ones are my favorite, because I don't know if I could choose.
These bars are loaded with chunks of chocolate and gooey caramel. Which is surrounded by a buttery oat crumb crust. So, so yummy! The only hard part is that you have to wait for them to cool. Right out of the oven they are a hot mess, trust me. They are good warmish, but they really are best after they cool down. And believe me, they are worth the wait!
Chocolate Chip Caramel Oatmeal Bars
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
10 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 12oz jar caramel ice cream topping
3 Tbsp flour
Mix together flour, oats, brown sugar, soda, salt, and melted butter. Spread half of the dough in a greased 9×13" pan. (For easier cutting and cleanup-line the pan with foil first.) Bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together caramel and flour. Remove crust from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Drizzle caramel mixture evenly over the top. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the caramel. It's OK if some of the filling is showing. Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 more minutes or till golden brown and bubbly. Cool before cutting.
-The original recipe called for 3/4 cup butter. I always thought they were a bit greasy, so I cut it down a bit. First I tried 1/2 cup, but they were dry. With the 10 Tbsp, they taste just as rich and buttery, but aren't as greasy.