SEA SALT CARAMEL OATMEAL BARS


Sometimes a cookie or bar recipe comes along that just blows you and your diet away!! LOL. This IS that bar! I have often wanted to make Carmelitas but felt they need something else. Here is where the sea salt comes in. Oh man, gives them just that kick and crunch. These are so easy and word of advice: I know you will want to eat them soon after coming out if the oven. W.A.I.T til the next day or after they have been in the fridge at least 8 hours. Yes, we were amazed that night when I cut into a corner after cooling about an hour, but the next morning out of the fridge and into my mouth, I actually yelled "Wow, even 10x's better!"
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!! Yum  

INGREDIENTS

Kraft caramel bits or 35 unwrapped caramel squares
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. course sea salt, divided
3/4 cup butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks, salted or unsalted)
3/ 4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup whole-rolled old fashioned quick oats
1 cup milk chocolate chips or chunks (I used Ghirardelli chips)

DIRECTIONS 
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Lining your pan is highly recommended for ease of cleanup due to the stickiness of the caramel; set pan aside.
  2.  Combine caramels and cream in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat to melt, stirring nearly continuously, until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in 1/4 tsp. sea salt, Set aside.
  3. In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 90 seconds.
  4. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
  5. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and stir until combined. Mixture will be quite thick.
  6. Add half of the mixture to the prepared pan, and smooth it with spatula or the back of a spoon, to create an even, smooth, flat layer; set remainder aside.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes. 
  8. Remove pan from the oven and evenly sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
  9. Slowly and evenly pour caramel sauce over the chocolate.
  10. Evenly crumble reserved oatmeal mixture over the top.
  11. Return pan to oven and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes (I baked 16 ), or until edges are lightly browned and center is bubbling slightly.
  12. Bars will seem like they are not done, but trust me, they will be awesome if you let cool for 4 hours, refrigerate at least an hour and then cut into squares. They will keep in the fridge up to a week and can be frozen as well. 
The kind of sea salt I used and good ole' Quaker Oats!


LINKING with THE WEEKEND POTLUCK

xoxo
" It's a sin to waste chocolate. It's in the Bible. Ghirardelli 3:17."
~Terri Guillemets

14 comments:

  1. YUM these look amazing!!!! x

    gillmclaughlin.com

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  2. WOW!!! my mouth is watering looking at these.

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  3. Yummy!! I will definitely need to try this recipe out. I'm always looking for healthy snacks :) Thanks for sharing beautiful!!
    xx Cara
    www.mylifeandmywardrobe.com

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  4. Holy cow! Those look incredible! I love caramel and I love sea salt...sounds like the perfect combination! :)

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  5. Oh my! These look amazing! I will definitely have to give these a try!

    Happy Wednesday!
    xo, Rachel
    www.ablondesmoment.com

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  6. Looks so tasty! Have to give your recipe a try very soon!

    Katarina x
    http://katarina-ahlsson.se

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  7. Hey girl!!! Thanks for linking up to Creative K Kid’s Tasty Tuesdays Linky Party. I’ve pinned your post to the Tasty Tuesday’s Pinterest board!!! Have a great week!!

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  8. These look amazing going to have to try!

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  9. Oh wow! These loo AMAZING definitely pinning! #foodpornthursday

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  10. This looks incredible - those flavors are so up my alley! Plus with the added oatmeal for a fiber/health effect = even better.

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  11. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe at The Recipe Sharing Pin and Yum Party! I hope to see you next week. Pinned and Yummed.
    Please visit Thursday Favorite Things for more sharing fun!

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  12. Yummed and pinned- these look good enough to eat right off the screen ... and oatmeal is good for our hearts, right? ;-0

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  13. These look really sinful but I guess I could tell myself that they are heart healthy because of the rolled oats. Thanks for the recipe.

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  14. Yum,Yum, Yum!! Everything I love. Thank you for sharing.

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