In Boise, Idaho, Jennifer Jensen keeps a big batch of this oat mixture on hand, so she can bake these rich treats in a hurry. The moist bars get extra sweetness from caramel ice cream topping and chocolate chips.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups shortening
- ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS:
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 jar (12 ounces) hot caramel ice cream topping
- In a large bowl, mix the first six ingredients; cut in shortening until crumbly. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place up to 6 months. Yield: 2 batches (about 8 cups total).
- To prepare bars: Preheat oven to 375°. Contents of mix may settle during storage. When preparing recipe, spoon mix into measuring cup. Place 4 cups of oat mix in a bowl. Add butter; mix until blended. Reserve 1-1/4 cups.
- Press remaining mixture into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.
- Sprinkle chips over crust. Drizzle with caramel topping; carefully spread caramel to within 1/4 in. of edges. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture.
- Bake 18-22 minutes longer or until golden brown and filling is bubbly (caramel mixture will not be set). Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen per batch.
Originally published as Caramel Oat Bar Mix in Quick Cooking May/June 2002, p46
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