I had something similar to these bars at this market in Tulsa a few weeks ago, and I found them very delightful, delicious…and rich. I bought just one of what they called “Monster Bars,” and it was so decadent, it actually took me four years to finish it off!
Okay, not four years. More like four hours.
And okay, it was more like an hour.
Thirty minutes, okay? It took me thirty minutes to eat the whole thing.
(But for me, that’s a very, very, very long time.)
(And fine. It was more like twenty minutes.)
Here’s my version! They’re really fun to eat, pretty durn easy to make, and super-duper fun.
I started out by making a big of an oatmeal base, and I used the same mixture I use with my Strawberry Oatmeal Bars. And that’s flour…
And now for a cautionary, don’t-be-like-me tale: I was in a hurry and was also feeling lazy, so I hurriedly threw the mixture into the food processor to pulse it up rather than put forth the hard work with the pastry cutter. I mean, sometimes I just don’t feel like fighting the good fight anymore. But it was not a good idea, because the food processor instantly—and I mean, lickety-split—pulverized the oatmeal. Still delicious, of course, but you really want to be able to see those pieces of oatmeal.
Press it into a pan. I used a nonstick square pan, but it did result in quite a hefty crust. If you’d like a thinner crust—and if you’d like to wind up with more square bars—feel free to use an 8 x 10 inch pan OR a 9 x 13 inch pan. If you’re not using a nonstick pan, grease the pan thoroughly first!
Live and learn.
Now just set the base aside for a sec. Don’t do this too far ahead of time, though, because you still want it to be nice and warm when you move on with the rest of the recipe.
Now, you can use regular salted peanuts if you don’t like the ones with the red skin…but I like the small size of the Spanish peanuts, and the red skins make everything a little more weird and interesting.
(And you can see that if you go with a bigger pan, you should probably have a third can of dulce de leche on hand so it covers the surface. Just sayin’.)
Oh, and if you don’t like peanuts…well, these aren’t the bars for you!
The warmth of the cookie base and the caramel should be sufficient to soften the butterscotch and chocolate chips enough for them to barely melt without losing their shape…then stick together as they cool. I sure hope that makes sense.
If things aren’t warm enough to accomplish this, just set the pan into the oven for 30 seconds or so, just to soften them up enough to stick together.
And then—this is important!—stick the pan in the fridge and chill it for at least 2 to 3 hours. This helps everything set and makes it much easier to slice up the bars.
Also, take note that most of the chips stayed intact when I flipped this upside down—the pressing/sticking together is important!
Here’s the handy dandy printable! Try them sometime soon.
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Chocolate Butterscotch Caramel Bars
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- 1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
- 1-1/2 cup Quick Oats
- 1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1-3/4 stick Cold (salted) Butter, Cut Into Pieces
- 2 cans (13.5 Ounces Each) Dulce De Leche (I Used Nestle La Lechera)
- Spanish Peanuts
- Butterscotch Chips
- Mini Chocolate Chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 9, 8 x 10, or 9 x 13-inch baking dish with baking spray. (Or you can line with aluminum foil.)
***Note: If you use a rectangular pan, you may need an additional can of dulce de leche to cover the surface.
Mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture into the pan and pat lightly to pack it slightly.
Bake until light golden brown on top and done in the middle, about 30 to 35 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn't burn. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Spoon the dulce de leche into a microwave safe bowl and nuke it for 45 seconds, just to slightly soften it. Scoop it on top of the oatmeal base and use an offset spatula to spread it out to the edges and into an even layer. Sprinkle on a layer of peanuts so that they completely cover the caramel, and use your hands to gently press them into the caramel. Sprinkle on the butterscotch chips and the mini chocolate chips in generous layers.
Note: The warmth of the cookie base and the caramel should slightly soften the butterscotch and chocolate chips. When that happens, use your hands to very gently press the chips just enough to anchor them together (but not enough to misshape them.) If the pan isn't warm enough, pop it into the oven for 30 seconds or so and gently press the chips to anchor them together.
Chill the bars for 2 to 3 hours to make them easy to slice. Turn them out onto a cutting board and use a long serrated knife to cut into small squares (they're rich!)
Serve cold or at room temperature.
Posted by Ree | The Pioneer Woman on October 30 2014