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
Caramel-Chocolate Oat Squares Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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.