Oatmeal Caramel Bars

posted by Andrea | 04/19/2012

During our spring break staycation, I spent one afternoon in the kitchen baking up a storm. I filled an entire shelf in our deep freezer with baked goods… and of course, we ate a bunch too.

Most of the recipes I tried were brand new to me, and one of our favorites were these Oatmeal Caramel Bars.

I love 3 things about this recipe (besides the taste):

  1. It uses really simple ingredients that almost anyone should have on hand.
  2. It’s very quick and easy to make.
  3. It makes 2 large 9″ x 13″ pans so you’ll have plenty to eat now and freeze for later!

Recipe for Oatmeal Caramel Bars:

{print this recipe}

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks of butter
  • 3 c. brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 3 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 1/2 c. quick-cooking oats
  • 2 c. chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or dried fruit (optional)
  • 1 c. chopped nuts (optional)
  • 2  7-oz. bags caramels (about 45-50 caramels)
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 T. vanilla

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350*F
  • Grease and flour TWO 9″ x 13″ baking dishes; set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until combined
  • Add in the flour, baking soda, and oats (your bowl will be quite full!)
  • Press 1/3 of the mixture into each of the 9″ x 13″ pan (you will use 2/3 of the mixture total)
  • Sprinkle with chocolate, dried fruit, or nuts (if desired)
  • In a saucepan, combine caramels, milk, and vanilla — cook over low heat until caramels are melted.
  • Pour caramel mixture over the oat mixture in each pan
  • “crumble” the remaining 1/3 of the oats mixtures over the caramel in each pan
  • Bake at 350* F for 25 minutes or until the top is brown and the center is set.
  • Cool and cut into bars

This recipe is sooooo good. And I love that you can add all sorts of “extras” to fit your family’s taste buds. We’re big chocolate lovers in our house so I always add a healthy dose of chocolate chips, but dried fruit and nuts might be a nice combination too!

Also, in case you are wondering, I just pulled another batch out of our freezer and they taste fantastic!

What mix-ins would you add to this recipe?

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11 comments

  1. Ivy Miller

    04/19/2012

    Andrea,

    These look so great… I am wondering if you have the nutritional value info for the recipe or maybe some one know where I can input in the info to get it. There are certain things I have to watch the amounts on.

    Love your blog…

    [Reply]

  2. Donna English

    04/19/2012

    Yum these look wonderful!

    [Reply]

  3. Kim

    04/19/2012

    Can you omit the caramel do you think? I love it but some in my family don’t. Thanks, glad I stumbled on your blog at $ saving Mom…

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    well — they definitely wouldn’t taste anywhere near the same if you omitted the caramel — but yes, I’m sure you could. They would basically just be like an oatmeal cookie then.

    [Reply]

  4. Sarah Joy

    04/19/2012

    These look SOOO good! I’m going to need to add caramels to my shopping list! What a great idea to have a baking day to stock the freezer! I never think of doing that, but I always stress out when I don’t have anything to take to a get together. Thanks for the good idea!

    [Reply]

  5. jimena

    04/19/2012

    love your blog! been reading for months!
    first time leaving a comment…Nora is so cute!
    I no nothing about cooking or baking, do you freeze them already baked?
    Im pretty sure my boys would love them, and they would be great for school lunches!
    thanks for you blog all the way from Peru.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yup, always freeze after you bake — you can even eat them frozen then. Here are a bunch of other “freezer cooking” tips.

    [Reply]

  6. littlemrsmosher

    04/19/2012

    these look really yummy!! Are they fairly sweet with all the sugar plus the caramels? I’m thinking of doing them and cutting back on that…

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    actually no — I put the full amount of sugar and caramel in these bars and they don’t taste overly sweet to me.

    [Reply]

  7. Debra Kapellakis

    04/20/2012

    These look and sound yummy. I need to get some caramels and I am ready. thank you for sharing

    [Reply]

  8. Debbie Hebda

    08/16/2012

    These look awesome!
    I have a son who has a milk allergy, could we substitute milk with almond or rice milk?
    thanks.

    [Reply]

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