Dark Chocolate Oatmeal with Caramel Sauce Bars
Let me tell you a little story about these delicious dessert bars (well-I ate them for breakfast too, so they’re not technically just ‘dessert bars’). I love Instagram and when I was checking out all the lovely photos from the people I follow, and I saw the recipe from Half Baked Harvest for Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Bars and almost drooled! Then I thought how nice it would be if I could only have them…and went to my pantry to see if I had the ingredients, and low and behold, I did! So after I made them, I wanted that ooey gooey factor, and I added a little caramel sauce on the top, it got absorbed right into the bars and was perfect!
- 2½ cup old fashioned oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted (if need you may sub canola oil)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into chunks (about 1½ cups)
- For the Caramel Sauce:
- ½ packed cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- For the bars: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish or line with foil or parchment papper. In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, add the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, melted coconut oil, eggs and vanilla and beat until combined and the dough holds together (the dough will seem oily, this is good). Mix in about 1 cup of the dark chocolate chunks.Turn half the batter out into prepared pan, pushing the dough into pan. Sprinkle on the remaining dark chocolate chunks and then place the remaining half of the dough over the chunks. Some of the chunks will most likely be sticking out, that is fine. Don't worry about it looking perfect. If desired you may even add more chocolate to the top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, just do not over bake. Let stand for 10 minutes, pour the caramel sauce evenly over the pan and allow to cool for 30 minutes before cutting into the bars and devouring them!
- For the caramel sauce: Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it gets thicker. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour over the bars.