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1996 Honorable Mention: Caramel Oat Bars

Author/Submitted by: Karen Kruckenberg of Harvard, Illinois, 1996 Chicago Tribune Annual Holiday Cookie Contest
Servings: 16
Categories: Chocolate / Cookies / Desserts

Ingredients:

BASE
1/2  cup  Unsalted butter, softened
1/4  cup  Sugar
3/4  cup  Rolled oats
2/3  cup  All-purpose flour

CARAMEL
14  ounces  Sweetened condensed milk
1/2  cup  Unsalted butter
1/4  cup  Brown sugar, packed
1  teaspoon  Vanilla extract, to 2 ts

ICING
1/4  cup  Unsalted butter
2  tablespoons  Water
2  tablespoons  Cocoa, sifted
1 1/2  cups  Confectioner's sugar, sifted

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350F. For base, beat butter and sugar in small bowl of electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add oats and flour; beat until smooth. Press into greased 8-inch-square or 9-inch-square baking pan. Bake until set, 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare caramel mixture. Heat condensed milk, butter and brown sugar to a boil in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Boil, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour caramel mixture over cooked base; allow to cool completely.

3. To prepare icing, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cocoa and water until smooth. Add confectioner's sugar; stir until mixed well. Spread over cooled caramel layer. Allow to set before cutting. Store refrigerated.

Karen Kruckenberg of Harvard, Illinois earned an honorable mention in the 1996 Chicago Tribune Annual Holiday Cookie Contest with a simple recipe for caramel oat bars from England.


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