Caramel Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Caramel Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars recipe

Do you want to know a little tidbit about Nebraska? Like, basically, the most interesting thing about the entire state, according to me even though I’ve only lived here for 2 months and really don’t know much of anything about Nebraska?

I knew you’d want to know!

It’s the fact that this is the windiest freaking place ever. My word. I’ve been on a cruise, out in the middle of the ocean, where there is wind and there is nothing to block it and you know what? No. Not as windy as Nebraska. All of our outdoor patio furniture is currently either upside down or halfway across the yard and you guys, our furniture is heavy duty metal stuff. This is ridiculous and I want to go home where the furniture stays put and the house doesn’t shake from the wind and I do not have “wind warnings” every day of the week.

Caramel Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars recipe

Anyway, it’s too windy to leave the house ever, so I’ve been baking like a crazy person. And I mean that part about not leaving the house literally. I can not open the door sometimes because the force of the wind is too strong.

These oatmeal bars are totally healthy because the crust is made of oatmeal. I’m not a doctor or anything, but I’m pretty sure you can trust me. Maybe?

The filling for these bars is a caramel made from sweetened condensed milk which is the tastiest liquid known to man and then it gets a big ol’ helping of peanut butter to round things out. Basically, you want these bars in yo’ face as often as possible. Enjoy. And then enjoy some more, because like I said. Health food!

Caramel Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars recipe

Note: I’ve gotten quite a few comments that these bars and dry, crumbly, and falling apart. I’ve also gotten comments saying that these worked perfectly, so I’m not sure what the problem is. Be sure that you’re reading the recipe correctly (1 1/2 cups butter – not 1 1/2 sticks) and that you’re not overbaking. As soon as I have a chance to make this recipe again, I will report back and make changes if necessary. I’m not sure what is going on as the recipe was made as written below, but I do plan to test it again. In the meantime, be careful with this one as it seems to be finicky!

Caramel Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars recipe

Caramel Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars recipePrint Recipe

Caramel Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Yield: 16 bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 bag (11 ounces) milk chocolate chips

Directions:

To start, make the caramel sauce by melting 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat. When melted, stir in the sweetened condensed milk and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and darkens to a caramel color, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla.
To make the crust, combine the flour, oatmeal, and remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a large bowl. Melt the remaining 1 1/2 cups of butter and stir into the oatmeal mixture.
Press half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the oatmeal crust. Spread the caramel peanut butter mixture over the chocolate chips and crumble the remaining oatmeal crust mixture over the top. Return to the oven and continue baking for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.

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31 Responses to “Caramel Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars”

  1. Aqiyl Aniys March 27, 2014 @ 5:33 am (#
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    These are beautiful looking oatmeal bars. I just need some almond milk to wash them down.

    Reply

  2. Belinda@themoonblushbaker March 27, 2014 @ 5:39 am (#
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    healthy or not, if they are delicious I am going to eat them!

    Reply

  3. Chloe @ foodlikecake March 27, 2014 @ 6:30 am (#
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    These look so good! I love the caramel and peanut butter together :-)

    Reply

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  5. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet March 27, 2014 @ 9:39 am (#
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    Totally health food! Love these bars! Pinned!

    Reply

  6. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) March 27, 2014 @ 10:26 am (#
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    poor thing! That wind sounds awful! At least you have these bars to comfort you-they look so chewy!! I love the caramel & pb combo, of course!

    Reply

  7. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life March 27, 2014 @ 1:15 pm (#
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    Now that’s some serious health food ;-) I agree with your logic…oatmeal=health! Awesome idea to pair caramel and peanut butter…but I think you should send some to me so I can know for sure!

    Reply

  8. Liz March 27, 2014 @ 1:28 pm (#
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    Nice recipe – thank you!

    Reply

  9. cheri March 27, 2014 @ 3:35 pm (#
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    Love oat bar recipes, looks amazing!

    Reply

  10. Melissa March 27, 2014 @ 4:12 pm (#
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    ha ha :) Welcome to Kansas/Nebraska! Ive lived in Kansas all my life – we are known for our wind! It doesnt bother me but it does bother my husband who is from a non windy place. :) The fun wind is when you lean into it, and it holds your body up. Pretty amazing! Thanks for all the yummy recipes!! Love them!

    Reply

  11. Karen @ The Food Charlatan March 27, 2014 @ 7:31 pm (#
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    Mmmm you put sweetened condensed milk in ANYTHING, I’m down.

    Reply

  12. Kim March 27, 2014 @ 8:37 pm (#
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    Welcome to Nebraska!! I’ve been here all my life and I still can’t stand this weather!! Lost a piece of our siding in last nights wind :) anyway… you had me at peanut butter!! Can’t wait to make these.

    Reply

  13. Joanne March 28, 2014 @ 5:24 am (#
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    I think wind warnings would scare me much more than most other warnings. Definitely more so than dangerously low temperature warnings, which I’ve had more than enough of this winter.

    Caramel peanut butter chocolate. YOU.DID.NOT. (But I’m so glad you did.)

    Reply

  14. marcie March 28, 2014 @ 9:26 am (#
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    These bars are calling my name, Karly — they look amazing!

    Reply

  15. Margaret Cournetea March 28, 2014 @ 11:37 am (#
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    I Sure would love to make these but have a question. Are the oats old fashion or instant or quick?

    Reply

    • Karly replied: — March 29th, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

      @Margaret Cournetea,

      I use old fashioned and quick oats interchangably. You can use whichever you have on hand.

      Reply

  16. Tracy | Pale Yellow March 29, 2014 @ 8:02 am (#
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    Even though I don’t live in Kansas, I understand the wind. I just moved from an apartment to an old house and the wind can be downright terrifying. These bars look like the perfect thing to cheer me up!

    Reply

  17. luchetti enid March 29, 2014 @ 8:21 am (#
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    use the low fat condensed milk to make even healthier and cuts a lot of calories since so much butter in this

    Reply

  18. Asta March 31, 2014 @ 4:56 am (#
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    oh my lordie lord these sound and look yummie
    now that i live in iceland im not sure what “sweetened condensed milk” is !!
    can you tell me a bit more about what it is :) is it any kind of cream or what – i cant think of anything that it could be :/
    thank you

    Reply

    • Karly replied: — April 2nd, 2014 @ 9:05 am

      @Asta,

      It’s a milk that has added sugar and has been condensed down to a really thick, sweet liquid. It’s sold in cans in the baking aisle in the US. You could likely google for a substitute and make it at home pretty easily!

      Reply

  19. Jennifer March 31, 2014 @ 11:12 pm (#
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    I made this as directed and it is a disasterous, dry, pile of crumbs. Nothing stuck together at all–the oats, the peanut butter caramel, nothing. First time in my life I’m throwing away an entire pan of something I just made, but something is wrong with this recipe. Disappointing!

    Reply

    • Annie C replied: — April 1st, 2014 @ 6:40 pm

      @Jennifer,

      I am afraid I am going to have the same issues as Jennifer. Everything was going great until I mixed the PB into the caramel. Too much maybe? Be cause it was all crumbly. I tried to salvage by pouring more sweetened condensed milk over the crumbs, ala “magic bars.” Hopefully that’ll help hold everything all together…

      Reply

      • Karly replied: — April 2nd, 2014 @ 8:58 am

        @Annie C,

        Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that! Did that help? The recipe is written as I made it, so I’m not sure what could be the problem.

        Reply

    • Karly replied: — April 2nd, 2014 @ 9:00 am

      @Jennifer,

      Uh oh! I’m so sorry to hear that! I wrote the recipe as I made it. If I have time again today, I’ll try these again and see what’s going on.

      Reply

    • Christine replied: — April 6th, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

      @Jennifer,
      So right Jennifer! These were a disaster. Very very dry! I won’t be making them again.

      Reply

    • Rhonda A replied: — April 26th, 2014 @ 6:11 am

      Made as directed and thought the 3 sticks of butter would be enough to combat the dryness. The final product was a dry mess. Disappointed

      Reply

  20. carmen April 3, 2014 @ 3:01 am (#
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    beautiful looking bars!!

    Reply

  21. Kathi April 5, 2014 @ 11:36 pm (#
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    Wish I had read the comments before trying this recipe because I too ended up with a big pile of dry (albeit tasty!) crumbs after baking.

    Reply

    • Karly replied: — April 7th, 2014 @ 7:50 am

      @Kathi,

      I’m so sorry to hear that! I’m not sure what’s going on with this recipe, but plan to try it again myself and see if I can figure it out. :(

      Reply

  22. Sarah c. April 6, 2014 @ 8:56 am (#
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    I just made these and they turned out great! I think the trick is two fold. One remember that she says to use 1 and 1/2 cups if butter, not sticks. Also, she says to use low to medium low heat to caramelize the condensed milk. If you heat the milk too high with the sugar it will crystallize, and it will turn crumbly like bad fudge.

    This certainly makes a ton of bars so I have frozen some for later snacking!

    Reply

  23. Emily @ Life on Food April 7, 2014 @ 11:40 am (#
    23
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    I grew up in Iowa and the same thing…tons of wind. You just don’t get that on the East coast with the hills and trees. Years later it still blows my mind.

    Reply

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