Saturday, April 11, 2015

Caramel Chocolate Bars

Y'all, I realized today that I am nearing a whole year behind on posting.  Guess that's what having a five year old, full time job, new house, husband, new baby, church activities, and trying to stay active will do to you.  Ha! 
One random weekend in June, David decided to take on a baking project with Kate.  I think by midway through this is how he felt...

They had a lot of fun, though; and the result was SO good!  It turned out to be a really good recipe for cooking with a preschooler.  Kate enjoyed unwrapping the caramels. 
You could even use it as a counting/math lesson but having them count out the correct number or asking "How many more?" 
They can also help by stirring while the caramel melts (with adult supervision, of course!).

I really love a good, ooey gooey dessert and this definitely qualifies! 
I guess you could even claim that they would help milk supply for a breastfeeding mom with the oats...anything for an excuse to eat dessert, right?!  :-)  Oh, and don't forget to practice your whistling!

Caramel and Chocolate from Averie Cooks


3/4 cups butter, melted
1 1/2 cups whole rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
35 caramel squares (or 2 cups caramel sauce)
2/3 cup half-and-half or cream


Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing for overhang (do not make this recipe unless you line your pan with foil) and spray the foil down very well with cooking spray. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. To the melted butter add the oats, brown sugar, baking soda, one teaspoon vanilla, and stir to combine. Pour just over half the oat-butter mixture (about 60%, eyeball it) into the bottom of the prepared baking pan, spread it evenly with a spatula, and bake for 9-10 minutes. The mixture will bubble up and foam considerably while baking. Watch it closely and the sides will show a bit of browning at about 9-10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let it rest and cool for 3 minutes, and then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top in an even layer.

While the mixture is baking, unwrap the caramels and place them in a medium-sized saucepan that's been sprayed with cooking spray. Add the cream to the caramels and melt over medium-high heat, stirring nearly continuously to prevent scorching or boiling. It may take 5 minutes for caramels to completely melt. After mixture has melted, is smooth and combined, turn off the heat and add one teaspoon of vanilla, using caution because the vanilla will likely bubble up a bit, and stir to incorporate.

Pour the melted creamy caramel mixture over the top of the oat mixture that has been topped with chocolate chips. It will be very soupy, this is fine. Take the remaining half (40%) of the oat-butter mixture and sprinkle it as evenly as possible over the top, using a spatula to gently spread the oats within the "caramel soup". Place pan on top of a cookie sheet as a precaution for spill-over and bake for 14-16 minutes more, or until sides of the mixture are beginning to brown (Look closely in order to discern "browning edges" from the overall brown color of the caramel mixture when it's baking; they're very similar but distinct enough to differentiate). Remove pan from the oven and allow it to rest and completely cool on the countertop before attempting to slice the bars (at least two hours) or you can expedite the process by placing the pan in the freezer or refrigerator until sufficiently cool enough to slice (but not frozen).


1 comment:

Stephen said...

Definitely oats are good for breastfeeding mothers! I'm sure you won't thank me for the analogy, but here on the farm at present we've got cows with new calves at foot - and yep, good oaten hay is the best supplementary feed for them when they're looking a bit run down :)