In the summer, we often have weekend guests who go boating with us. These sweet, chewy bars are the perfect treat to take along. Since I can use my microwave to prepare a batch, I don't have to heat up the oven--and my kitchen. -Kellie Ochsner, Newton, Iowa
- 3/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 24 caramels
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat butter, uncovered, on high for 20-30 seconds or until softened. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt; stir into butter until blended.
- Set a third of the mixture aside for topping. Press remaining mixture onto the bottom of an 8-in. square microwave-safe dish. Cook, uncovered, on high for 1-2 minutes or until crust is raised and set (crust will be uneven), rotating a half turn after each minute.
- In a 1-qt. microwave-safe dish, heat the caramels and milk, uncovered, on high for 1 minute or until melted and smooth, stirring every minute. Sprinkle chips and nuts if desired over crust. Pour caramel mixture over all.
- Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture; press down lightly. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2-3 minutes or until the caramel is bubbly, rotating a quarter turn every minute. Cool before cutting. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Caramel-Chocolate Oat Squares in Quick Cooking September/October 1999, p31
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