Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cookie Wednesday: Caramel Oatmeal Chewies

 Caramel Oatmeal Chewies

How to make cookies the day before a holiday:

1.  Go to the store, or better yet, send teenager or husband for you.
2.  Buy cookies.

But, if you are bored...or gluten for punishment (like me), try these:

This recipe is a first for me.  I gave Kyle a choice between a few recipes, all of which I have never made and this was the one he picked.  It comes from the Nestle Toll House Best Loved Recipes Cookbook.

Here is what I learned by making this recipe:  First, these turned out better than I thought they would.  I expected something okay.  They're good.  Kyle took the batch with him to work and they where a huge hit.  I would make them again with a few variations to the recipe.  I want to try them sometime with a shortbread crust.  I think I would like that better, since I'm not a huge fan of oatmeal.  Don't be afraid of adding the flour to the caramel. It actually works. Use quick oats rather than old fashioned.   The old fashioned oats are a little overpowering.  And, DO NOT try to cut them just after getting them out of the fridge.  Let them come to room temperature first. 

Caramel Oatmeal Chewies

1 3/4 c. oats, quick or old fashioned
1 3/4 c. flour, divided
3/4 c.packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts
1 c. caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan.

Combine oats, 1 1/2 c. flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir in butter; mix well.  Reserve 1 c. oat mixture, press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts.  Mix caramel with remaining four in a small bowl; drizzle over chocolate chips almost to the pan edges.  Sprinkle reserved oat mixture over the top.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack then refrigerate until firm.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen bars.

Happy Baking!

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