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.Print
Salted Caramel Oat Bars
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 42 bars 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
These salted caramel oat bars are for serious caramel lovers — Chewy oats covered in a thick slab of homemade salted caramel with a pretzel on top.
- 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 9×13 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.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 200
- Sugar: 22g
- Sodium: 143mg
- Fat: 11g
- Saturated Fat: 6.8g
- Unsaturated Fat: 3.3g
- Trans Fat: 0.4g
- Carbohydrates: 26g
- Fiber: 0.4g
- Protein: 0.9g
- Cholesterol: 28mg
Keywords: salted caramel oat bars, homemade salted caramel, caramel, dessert bars
Jamie@Milk 'n' Cookies says
I find food trends to be really interesting, also! I can’t quite get behind chia seeds, but most of the others are pretty appealing to me.
Your salted caramel squares look delicious! I’m a big fan of caramel (especially salted) so I would definitely not be suggesting that the caramel layer be any thinner. Yum!
Thanks Jamie! Yeah, not too sure about chia seeds myself!
Linda Denning says
These look so good….they’ll make a great treat at the holidays, all wrapped up like a little package! Thanks!
These would be great for the holidays, Linda. They keep well in the fridge, and this recipe makes a bunch!
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
Caramel too thick? I’m sorry, could you repeat that? I don’t know what you mean. 🙂
I’m especially intrigued by the texture of your caramel – mine is often so gooey that it doesn’t hold it’s shape. Can’t wait to try this!
Hi Marissa, Good to know there are others out there who understand my love of caramel! It took some patience to wait for that candy thermometer to reach the soft ball stage so that the caramel would be firm enough to hold its shape when cut. And definitely easier to cut the bars when they were well chilled.
Jennifer | Bake or Break says
Personally, I hope that salted caramel never goes away. Love these!
Thanks Jennifer! Long live salted caramel :0)
Julia | JuliasAlbum.com says
Love these little treats, with cute pretzels on top! I just want to grab one off the screen!
Thanks Julia! Wish I could share some with you- goodness knows I need to stop eating them!
Alison Haight says
So excited to make these Julie! I have to be honest, I have never made my own caramel, and am afraid to. Is a wooden spoon best for stirring?
Hi Alison, I was a little intimated too. I did use a wooden spoon to stir the whole time it was boiling and it worked out fine. Also using the right sized pan is important. It will bubble up more than you think, so you want to give it some room. I used a heavy bottomed 3.0 quart stainless steel pan. Maybe make these when the kiddos are sleeping or there is someone there to keep them occupied. Just be sure to use a candy thermometer, and watch closely. These babies are worth the effort! Let me know how you like them okay?
These are AMAZING! I tried making them myself, will be up on my blog soon! (Credited to you, of course) Thanks for the inspiration!
So glad you like them! Thanks for letting me know Aimee!
Question… I haven’t made a whole lot of candy, and I thought the caramel wouldn’t hold its shape unless it was cooked to the firm ball stage, around 245 degrees? Does it get too soft to hold its shape if left at room temperature, or do you pretty much have to serve it slightly cool in order to keep it in bar form when cut?
Hi Jenna, that is a great question. I found that the caramel layer would soften quite a bit at room temperature, but would actually still hold it’s shape pretty well after being cut into bars. The oat layer, however, was a little crumbly at room temperature. So I found the perfect compromise was to store them in the fridge and then just let them soften slightly for about 20 minutes before serving. Hope this helps! By the way, this was really my first time making candy using a thermometer, and I was surprised that despite my inexperience, they turned out just fine!