Friday, February 24, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars {Egg-Free}

My grandmother gave me this recipe for Chocolate Caramel Cookie bars about 5 years ago, when, after the first bite of them, I realized that I could not live without making them again.

They're rich, buttery and awful for you... and So Darn Good!

What You Need
2 cups old fashioned or quick oats (toasted)
1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. vanilla
12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted & chopped (optional)
14 oz. pkg. caramels (unwrapped)
1/2 cup evaporated milk

**Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a 51-piece cake decorating kit! (Closes Monday, Feb 28)

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees and line the bottom of a 9x13" cake pan with parchment paper.

The first thing I do when making any cookies or bars using oatmeal is to toast the dry oats. I heard of this trick a few years ago, and thought, really? Toast oats? That sounds like more work than necessary. But once I did it, I realized how awesome they taste, and how much better they make the treats taste. So, now I always toast my oats. (It's kind of like nuts... always toast your nuts, too!)

To toast the oats, spread the 2 cups of oats around a jelly roll pan. Toast them at 350 for about 5-7 minutes, stirring with a spatula about halfway through. The oats get a little golden in color, and smell yummy when they're toasted.

Let them cool before adding them to the batter.

While your oats cool, cream together butter and sugar in a mixer bowl.

Add vanilla, flour, salt, baking soda and oats. Mix until the dough just comes together.
The first time I made these bars, I was sure I'd messed up because the dough was so sticky. That's how it's supposed to be. It's like a sticky cookie dough- not at all like a crust or a bar dough that I'm used to. (That's probably why they're so darn good!)

Press 1/2 mixture into 9x13 pan lined with parchment paper. I use a butter wrapper to help keep my fingers from getting too sticky. (You should have 3 on-hand after unwrapping your butter for the dough.)

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

While baking, unwrap caramels, and pour milk over. (I found a little 5 oz. can of evaporated milk at the store, so I used that. It's an ounce more than you need, but I pretended it wasn't... and it still worked just fine.)
Microwave on 50% power for 3-5 minutes. Whisk to combine into a smooth sauce.

Also, chop the nuts as fine or as coarse as you would like them to be. (You can even skip the nuts if you're not a big nut fan. But I love these bars with toasted pecans in them.)

After 10 minutes of baking, remove the pan from oven...

...sprinkle chocolate chips over...

...sprinkle nuts over...

...pour caramel over.

Break the remaining dough into bits to cover the top. It's okay if it doesn't completely cover the caramel. It will expand in the oven to be almost completely covering.
Bake 20 more minutes at 350-degrees.

Remove to cooling rack and cool completely.

Remove the parchment from the pan (you may need to run a knife around the edge to loosen them.
Cut into bars.

Enjoy the rich, buttery goodness!

Enter your email address below to receive the latest recipes, tips and ideas in your email inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

If you shop at through my link, you support this blog and its contents. Thank you!


  1. These look really, really good. Could you please make it into your one-page printable recipe? I'd happily buy it from you! Thanks.

  2. Mine are in the oven baking as I type!! So excited to taste them :)


Please note that comments containing profanity or those that are spam will not be approved on this website.