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.
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
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Preheat the oven to 350-degrees and line the bottom of a 9x13" cake pan with parchment paper.
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.
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!)
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Microwave on 50% power for 3-5 minutes. Whisk to combine into a smooth sauce.
Bake 20 more minutes at 350-degrees.
Cut into bars.
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