Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Caramel Squares: Just 7 Ingredients in Bake-Off Favorite
By Niela Frantellizzi, Boca
Warm, rich chocolate, hearty oats, oozing caramel:
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Caramel Squares have it all.
If the ingredients were not enough to entice you as a
comfort food, this easy cookie recipe is even more appealing in that it is
simple to make.
The recipe calls for just 7 ingredients – and one of them is
pre-made cookie dough.
It’s easy to see why the bars were a favorite recipe from
the iconic Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest #37 in 1996.
Prep time: about 35-40 minutes, including baking
Bake time: 35-37 minutes, divided
Cooling time: 1 ½ hours
Makes 16-25 squares
1 roll (16-17 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie
dough, such as Pillsbury® Create ‘n Bake refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
1 cup quick oatmeal
2/3 cup caramel topping (about 8 ounces)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Caramel
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with foil.
Spray foil lightly with vegetable spray.
- In a large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in
oatmeal. Set aside ½ cup cookie dough-oatmeal mixture. Press remaining cookie
dough into prepared pan.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until dough puffs and appears dry.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together caramel topping,
four and vanilla until well blended.
- Remove baked crust from the oven. Sprinkled crust evenly
with walnuts and chocolate chips. Drizzle caramel topping mixture evenly over bars.
Crumble reserved ½ cup cookie dough mixture over caramel.
- Bake bars an additional 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes on a wire
rack. Remove bars from the pan by lifting foil ends. Allow bars to cool
completely on a wire rack about 1 ½ hours.
- Cut bars into 4 x 4 or 5 x 5 rows, depending on your
- Store bars loosely covered at room temperature.
Special Baking Tips for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Caramel
By baking the lower layer first, you prevent the bar cookie
from becoming too soggy. Be sure to press the crust evenly into the pan to
ensure uniform baking.
You can bake Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Caramel
Squares in a greased pan, avoiding lining it
with foil. But bars are much easier to remove when you simply lift the foil
liner from the pan.
For cleaner cuts, set the knife in the refrigerator for an
hour before cutting squares.
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