Dark Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Rye Bars

There's something about wanting a cookie, but not wanting to actually make the dough, chill the dough, make cookie balls, bake individual cookies, blah blah blah... that more often than not leaves one without a cookie in their hand. You with me? {audible background cheering} Enter the cookie bar. {tah dah} All the crave-busting of a cookie, without any of the troublesome in between steps. Bonus: you can pile extra stuff inside of them!! I took my basic oatmeal cookie recipe, fortified it with rye flour, for an extra nutty flavor, pressed it into a pan, topped it with the easiest dark chocolate salted caramel you'll ever make, and plopped more cookie dough on top. Then, because I'm WACKY, I sprinkled mini chocolate chips and toasted pecans on top. My friends, make this and you will thank me. Insane deliciousness never looked or tasted so good!

I found the rye flour in the health food section of my regular mega market. If you can't find it or you just don't feel like you'll use it enough, don't get it. Just use regular all-purpose flour. It will absolutely still be delicious. 

Oatmeal Cookie Layer
 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
 1 cup (200g) brown sugar
 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
 2 large eggs, room temperature
 ¼ cup whole milk
 2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
 1 ½ cups (195g) all-purpose flour
 1 cup (120g) dark rye flour (can substitute with all-purpose flour)
 1 tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt
 ½ tsp baking soda
 1 ½ cups (120g) old fashioned (whole) oats
 1 ½ cups (120g) old fashioned (whole) oats, coarsely ground in food processor
 1 cup (100g) toasted pecan, chopped
 1 cup (180g) mini chocolate chips
Dark Chocolate Caramel Layer
 11 oz (311g) bag of caramels, unwrapped
 4 oz (113g) dark chocolate, chopped in bits
  cup (80g) heavy cream
 1 tsp sea salt

1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper and spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl stir together flour, dark rye flour, salt, baking soda, and the oats. 
In the bowl of your stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream together butter and sugar for about 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla, and mix until well combined.

2

Add wet and dry ingredients together and mix just until everything comes together. Toss your mini chocolate chips and pecans together and fold most of them into the dough, reserving some (75 g or so) to sprinkle on top. Spread 2/3 of the batter into the bottom of your prepared pan. Set the rest aside. We'll get to it in a few minutes!

3

In a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine caramels, chopped chocolate, cream, and salt mixing occasionally until completely melted and smooth. Pour into the pan, over the layer of oatmeal cookie dough, and spread evenly with an offset spatula I find spraying the spatula with some nonstick spray helps the smoothing go smoother. 😜

4

Drop teaspoonsful of remaining dough on top the caramel in a random cobblestone pattern. Sprinkle the reserved mini chocolate chips and pecans over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with some flaky sea salt and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. You really should wait.

Ingredients

Oatmeal Cookie Layer
 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
 1 cup (200g) brown sugar
 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
 2 large eggs, room temperature
 ¼ cup whole milk
 2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
 1 ½ cups (195g) all-purpose flour
 1 cup (120g) dark rye flour (can substitute with all-purpose flour)
 1 tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt
 ½ tsp baking soda
 1 ½ cups (120g) old fashioned (whole) oats
 1 ½ cups (120g) old fashioned (whole) oats, coarsely ground in food processor
 1 cup (100g) toasted pecan, chopped
 1 cup (180g) mini chocolate chips
Dark Chocolate Caramel Layer
 11 oz (311g) bag of caramels, unwrapped
 4 oz (113g) dark chocolate, chopped in bits
  cup (80g) heavy cream
 1 tsp sea salt

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper and spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl stir together flour, dark rye flour, salt, baking soda, and the oats. 
In the bowl of your stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream together butter and sugar for about 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla, and mix until well combined.

2

Add wet and dry ingredients together and mix just until everything comes together. Toss your mini chocolate chips and pecans together and fold most of them into the dough, reserving some (75 g or so) to sprinkle on top. Spread 2/3 of the batter into the bottom of your prepared pan. Set the rest aside. We'll get to it in a few minutes!

3

In a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine caramels, chopped chocolate, cream, and salt mixing occasionally until completely melted and smooth. Pour into the pan, over the layer of oatmeal cookie dough, and spread evenly with an offset spatula I find spraying the spatula with some nonstick spray helps the smoothing go smoother. 😜

4

Drop teaspoonsful of remaining dough on top the caramel in a random cobblestone pattern. Sprinkle the reserved mini chocolate chips and pecans over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with some flaky sea salt and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. You really should wait.

Dark Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Rye Bars

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