These rich, gooey bars are my most-requested treats. They're popular at school functions, family barbecues and picnics. We like them alone or topped off with a scoop of ice cream.
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups cold butter, cubed
- 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 jar (12 ounces) caramel ice cream topping
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Set half aside for topping.
- Press the remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and pecans.
- Whisk caramel topping and remaining flour until smooth; drizzle over top. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours before cutting. Yield: about 4-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Chocolate Caramel Bars in Taste of Home June/July 1999, p39
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