These are single handedly my favourite cookie bar. Ooey, gooey, chewy, caramel-y goodness. You really, no matter how sweet your tooth, want to wait to cut these. Leave them overnight before you cut them. Really. Trust me, they taste way better the next day anyway. I think the original recipe...like anyone knows where that is...contains chocolate chips. I do not like chocolate chips so I leave them out. If you have trouble finding caramels...it seems stores don’t carry the Kraft Caramels in the bag much anymore...try the loose candy aisle. They almost always have them there.
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1-1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 C melted butter
14 oz bag Kraft Caramels or about 32 pieces
1/3 C light cream
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 13x9-inch pan AND LINE WITH PARCHMENT PAPER** (!!!!) Do not skip lining the pan. The caramel sticks and your pan will be a big sticky mess if you do. Press the parchment paper on the bottom and up the sides. It’s ok if it’s wrinkley. Then grease the parchment paper as well.
In large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, soda, salt. Add melted butter and mix until crumbly. Press half of the crumb mixture in bottom of greased pan. Reserve half for the topping. Blind bake the bottom crust for about 10 minutes. Cool.
In a small bowl, combine caramels and cream. Heat in microwave oven for about 5 minutes on 50% stirring twice during cooking until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth.
If using, sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over reserved crust. Drizzle evenly with melted caramel mixture and sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Press down on the crust lightly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely. Remove from pan then remove parchment paper. Cut into bars. These keep for several days...if they last that long...just cover them with plastic wrap.
** Don’t use waxed paper in place of parchment. Waxed paper has...well...wax. Wax melts in the oven. It’s why you put it in the oven supple and it comes out crinkley. Parchment paper doesn’t have anything on it that melts, it’s just non-stick.
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