Back when I was in college we used to have awesome desserts in the cafeteria made by a friend of mine who worked in the kitchen. Paula made these awesome bars that had to be six inches tall and piled with caramel, oatmeal clusters and semi-sweet chocolate chips. The official name for these bars is “Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars” but I call them, affectionately, “Paula Bars”.
Here’s what you need:
2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 package (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Combine oats, 1 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar and baking soda. Add melted butter, mix until crumbly. Reserve 3/4 cup-1 cup crumb mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture into bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine ice cream topping and remaining 1/4 cup flour in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the bottom crust while it’s still hot, carefully spreading to the edges.
Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture and chocolate chips evenly over caramel mixture. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Cool completely, cut into bars and serve with ice cream if desired.
My bars aren’t piled quite as high as Paula’s but they are just as chewy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! I could seriously eat the whole pan myself. You can print out the recipe below this last picture. Please ignore the calorie count–it’s not accurate because the recipe makes more than nine bars ;) Enjoy!