Caramel Oat Bars

30 Aug

Summer is just about over.  Little Miss will soon be off to preschool, the rain will start and the sweaters will come out.  I love fall but I’m not ready yet.  I still want long summer nights, and barbeques and farmers markets.  I am holding on to flip flops and the smell of sunscreen as long as I can.  I love taking the dog out after dinner for walk with the sun glistening off the river and the sound of the wind rustling through the trees.  Oh summer please stay a little longer???

I know I can’t hold on much longer though.  The sun seems to be setting earlier every night no matter how much I protest.  I always think after days and days and days of rain that we will just pack up and move to Hawaii.  We will live on the beach in a tent. But then I realize that I need my own bathroom and a place to plug in my mixer.  So that will never work.

Maybe one of these years we will take a vacation.  The only problem is a vacation with 2 kids under 5 is that it’s not much of a vacation.  It’s more of an…..experience, a stressful, crazy, through the schedule out the window experience.  Ah I guess I will just get out the sweaters and rain boots.

I wanted oatmeal cookies but not really.  I wanted layered caramel bars but not really.  Does that ever happen to you?  Am I totally weird?

So I made these oat bars with toasted coconut and a layer of cooked sweetened condensed milk.  The bars and buttery and chewy with a nuttiness from the toasted coconut.  The sweetened condensed milk gets caramelized and slightly chewy.  They smell amazing.  They aren’t the prettiest bar out there but they are tasty, that’s for sure.

Caramel Oat Bars

– one 8×8 pan


3/4 c butter – melted
3/4 c light brown sugar packed
1 egg – room temp
1 c all purpose flour
1 c toasted unsweetened coconut
1 c rolled oats (I used large rolled oats)
1 tsp baking soda


1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tbs honey


Preheat oven to 350 F. Move oven rack to the middle position. Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl add melted butter and sugar. Stir to combined. Stir in egg. Then add flour, coconut, oats and baking soda. Mix until completely combined.

Place 2/3 of the mixture in the bottom of the lined pan. Push down until crust is even. Place in oven and cook 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Set the other 1/3 of the mixture aside as well.


In a medium sauce whisk sweetened condensed milk and honey together. Cook over medium heat whisking often (especially once it starts to change color). Cook until brown and thick about 15 minutes.

Pour filling over baked crust and sprinkle the top with the remaining oat mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until top is lightly golden.

Wait until completely cooled before cutting.


4 Responses to “Caramel Oat Bars”

  1. Mom August 31, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    I visit all the time but always seem to come away without getting a taste of these???

  2. Mel August 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Your bars look delicious. I love my farmers market in the fall, but I’m with you in that I’m not sure I’m ready for it.

  3. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust August 31, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    I agree – vacationing with little kids is not vacation. It’s life on the move! Which I’d handle way better with these bars!

  4. Jenny September 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    They sound delicious! Like a really decadent take on a flapjack.

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