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”.

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Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars aka 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

Directions:

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.

These are great for a potluck, but maybe make a second batch because they won’t last long! ;)

Enjoy!

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8 Comments on Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars

  1. I love the nicknames we can develop for certain foods! I have some recipes from my mom that I’m pretty sure it’s not the technical name of things! This recipe looks delicious. :)

    • Thanks! Yes, I have lots of other recipes like that too! Like a dish we always had growing up called “Texas Skillet”, which makes no sense, because my whole family lives in North Dakota ;)

  2. Yum! One of my favorite desserts is Oatmeal Carmelitas so I’m sure I’d love these as well. I too am thankful for a nursing baby, ha ha! I’m always starving. :-)

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