I find it interesting that just like fashion or home decor, food trends come and go. Thanks to a wide world of food blogs and of course Pinterest, certain flavors rise in popularity seemingly overnight. We’ve seen cake batter, brown butter, and s’mores in just about every kind of baked confection known to man. Some of these trends appeal to me more than others, but my most favorite flavor trend is salted caramel. I’ve been a big fan of caramel my whole life, but it’s amazing what a little salt can do for it!
When I made these salted caramel oat bars, of course I offered one to my husband. He took a bite, and then pondered for a bit.
“They’re definitely good,” he said, then hesitantly added, “But do you suppose the caramel layer is a bit too thick?”
“Of course not, ” I assured him without skipping a beat. Any more questions?
These are most definitely for all you caramel lovers out there, who understand there’s no such thing as a caramel layer too thick.
Start by baking your oat layer.
Pour your caramel layer generously on top.
Chill until the caramel is firm, and then press pretzels on top of the caramel.
- 4 cups oatmeal (I like using old-fashioned)
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup melted butter
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 2 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 42 pretzels
- finely ground sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, mix oatmeal with corn syrup, brown sugar, and melted butter until well combined.
- Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving extra paper hanging over the short end of the baking dish.
- Press oat mixture firmly into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool while making caramel layer.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat.
- Add brown sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream, and salt.
- Using a candy thermometer, bring to a boil and stir frequently until caramel mixture reaches the soft ball stage, or 235 degrees.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Pour caramel mixture over oat mixture, and chill until firmly set.
- Once the bars are set, press pretzels onto the top of the caramel layer and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Using the parchment paper, lift the entire uncut caramel oat block from the baking dish and place on a cutting board. Cut into bars.
- Keep refrigerated, but set the bars out at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving to soften the caramel layer a bit. Your teeth will thank you.