Caramel Chocolate Bars

This recipe is a compilation of several recipes I came across when I decided I needed to use the can of Dulce de Leche that was taunting me in my baking cabinet. I was reading The Pioneer Woman’s blog last week and she made these yummy bars. I immediately realized a can (or 5) of Dulce de Leche was going on my grocery list. I needed the perfect excuse to experiment. So, I turned to Pinterest. After carefully searching, I decided to add chocolate and this is the delicious result. There is oatmeal in the crust, so I say it’s completely appropriate to eat for breakfast. Hope you enjoy.

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Caramel Chocolate Bars

prep time: 15 min

cook time: 45 min

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup packed light brown sugar

dash of salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 can (13.4 oz) dulce de leche

3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet, but milk chocolate would be yummy)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350*.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. I don’t currently have a pastry blender, so I used two butter knives and cut in opposite directions. Save about 1/4 of the mixture, plus a handful, and press remaining crust into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 baking pan. Bake 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan, heat the dulce de leche over low heat for a few minutes, until caramel is soft. Be sure to stir frequently.

Spread the dulce de leche over crust. As it cools it will be harder to spread, so spread quickly. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the caramel and press slightly with a spatula. Then, sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over the top.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow bars to cool 15 minutes. Make sure bars are cooked completely before cutting.

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