salted caramel

These Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Oat Bars have a soft chocolate chip oatmeal cookie crust, gooey homemade salted caramel, rich dark chocolate, toasted nuts, and another layer of cookie dough.

WHAT YOU NEED granulated sugar unsalted butter heavy cream vanilla extract kosher salt all purpose flour quick oats baking powder dark brown sugar eggs semisweet chocolate chips dark chocolate chips walnuts or pecans flaky sea salt

1. To make the caramel, add water and the granulated sugar to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Gently stir to evenly mix, careful not to allow any of the sugar to slosh up against the sides of the pot. 2. Place over medium heat and allow the sugar to dissolve on its own. Do not touch. Once the mixture turns completely clear and bubbling, sit and watch as it turns from clear, to light golden, to a rich amber.

3. When the sugar turns evenly amber, immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. While gently whisking, slowly pour in the heavy cream and mix until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla and salt. 4. Return to medium heat and bubble for about 2 minutes. Then remove from the heat and whisk in the flour.

5. Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, and salt.  6. Mix together the softened butter and dark brown sugar until smooth. Now mix in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. 7. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Just before the flour is fully mixed in, add in the 1/2 cup of semisweet chocolate chips.

8. Spread about 2/3 of the dough in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with an even layer of the chopped nuts. Bake for 8 minutes and place the leftover dough in the refrigerator. 9. Remove the crust from the oven and top with an even layer of the dark chocolate chips.

10. Now pour over the caramel. It should be easily pourable but if it thickened too much while cooling, return it to the stove and heat just enough to loosen it up again. Then pour an even layer of the caramel over the chocolate chips and top with random blobs of the leftover cookie dough. 11. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until very lightly golden.

12. Allow the bars to cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then chill for about an hour. 13. To release from the pan, you may need to wedge a knife around the corners depending on how well lined your pan is. Then just lift out, sprinkle with sea salt, and slice!