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When it comes to holiday cookies, it’s easy to fall into a rut and make the same ones over and over again every year. I’ve been trying to challenge myself over the past couple of years to try some new recipes and I’ve been doing a pretty good job. This year, The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap seemed like a really fun way to continue challenging myself, while also getting to try some new cookies! Plus, getting 3 packages in the mail is right up my alley since i LOVE getting mail.
I spent a lot of time looking at Christmas cookie websites trying to find a fun new recipe to try and when I came across these, I immediately fell in love.
I’m a sucker for pretty much any baked good with oats in it, and I kept finding myself being drawn to recipes with pecans…which is weird, because I never buy them. I also never buy caramels. I didn’t even know they had vanilla flavored caramels. But indeed they do.
A few notes:
-The original recipe says this makes 48 bars…but unless you’re cutting them into like microscopic 1 inch squares, it does not make that many. Mine made just over 2 dozen and then I made another 1/2 batch so that I would have enough.
-I added Christmas m&ms just because they’re super festive and I love them.
-I used skim milk. I think any kind would do.
-I ran a little low on caramels on the last batch so I melted some butterscotch chips in with the caramel and it worked really well.
-LET THESE COOL COMPLETELY before trying to remove them from the pan or they will be a hot, gooey mess.
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Keywords: bake dessert oats chocolate caramel Christmas bars
Ingredients (9×13 pan)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 c vegetable oil
- 8 oz vanilla caramels, unwrapped
- 3 Tbsp skim milk
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 c m&ms
- 1 cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Grease foil; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, soda, and salt. Add melted butter and oil and mix until crumbly. Set aside half of the mixture for the topping. Press the other half into the bottom of prepared baking pan.
3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine caramels and milk. Microwave on 50 percent power (medium) for 4 minutes or until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring twice.
4. Sprinkle chocolate chips, m&ms and pecans over crust in pan. Drizzle evenly with melted caramel mixture and top with reserved crumb mixture.
5. Bake for 25-30minutes or until the top is light golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Use the foil to lift uncut bars out of pan. Cut into bars.
*Optional: these can also be made with 1 cup butter instead of 1/2 c butter, 1/2 c oil.
These are definitely going on the to make again list!
I sent these bars to three fabulous ladies. I hope they enjoyed them. Make sure to stop by and check out their amazing blogs:
And here’s a look at the cookies I got!
I found this workout thanks to Lindsay who tweeted about how awesome it was. Without an interval timer, I decided it would be too much of a hassle to switch between my timer and the list of things I was supposed to be doing so I did reps instead of time, and knocked off the last set to make it still take 25 minutes.
This took me exactly 25 minutes. I didn’t rest between any of the moves within each set and rested no more than 30 seconds between sets. It definitely worked up a sweat and it was just bodyweight so there were no weights to worry about. I’ll be doing this one again. I want to do it the original way with timed intervals and see which way I like better.