Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Cookie Bars are ooey-gooey dessert bars with chocolate and caramel nestled between two layers of oatmeal cookie dough. These cookie bars offer a combination of caramelized sweetness, chewy oatmeal texture, and melty chocolate. They will satisfy any sweet tooth and leave you craving more! If these sound good to you, be sure to also try my Revel Bars.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Caramel: The homemade caramel sauce is thickened by a cup of all-purpose flour. Adding flour to the sauce also helps stabilize the caramel when baked. I do not recommend using store-bought caramel sauce in this recipe.
Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure the ingredients used in this recipe are at room temperature, specifically water, butter, heavy cream, and eggs.
Butter: Use unsalted butter in both the caramel and the oatmeal cookie dough. If you only have salted butter, you may want to lessen the amount of salt added.
Oats: In this recipe, I went with old-fashioned oats, which are also known as rolled oats. These oats have a flat and irregular shape, and they’re commonly used in cookies, granola bars, and muffins. They add a nice texture and chewiness to the baked goods. If you don’t have old-fashioned oats on hand, you can use quick oats instead. Quick oats are oats that have been rolled into smaller and thinner flakes. While the texture might be slightly different, they can still work well in the recipe as a substitute.
Brown Sugar: Use light brown sugar. Light brown sugar contains about 3 1/2% molasses, compared to double that in dark brown sugar.
Chocolate: I used milk chocolate chips for the chocolate layer. However, you could certainly use semisweet chocolate chips as a substitute.
How to Store Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Cookie Bars
Store the chocolate caramel oatmeal cookie bars in an airtight container at room temperature. If desired, you can layer parchment paper or wax paper between the bars to prevent them from sticking together. Properly stored, the bars should remain fresh for up to 3-4 days.
Can I Freeze The Bars?
Yes! If you have any leftover bars or just want to get them made ahead of time, freeze them. First, let the bars cool completely. Next, cut them into individual-sized bars. Then, place them in the freezer on a baking sheet. After they have frozen, transfer the bars to freezer-safe containers or bags for up to three months. Be sure to label and date the containers. When ready to enjoy, let the bars thaw at room temperature.
Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Cookie Bars
- 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup water, room temperature
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ⅔ cup (159 g) heavy cream, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
Oatmeal Cookie Dough
- 3 cups (270 g) old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups (400 g) light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (168 g) milk chocolate chips
- To a large saucepan over medium heat, add granulated sugar and water.
- Gently stir. Then leave undisturbed until the sugar is dissolved (about 10 minutes).
- Continue to cook and gently stir until the sugar is boiling. It will begin to turn a rich amber color after about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter.
- Once melted, slowly drizzle in heavy cream, whisking constantly until combined and smooth.
- Add vanilla and salt; whisk until combined.
- Return the pan to medium heat until bubbling. Continue to simmer for 2 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in flour. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the dough.
Oatmeal Cookie Dough
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, including up the sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a separate large bowl, add sugar and butter. Use a hand mixer to cream together until fully incorporated. Add eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until smooth.
- Adding one cup at a time, mix in the flour mixture.
- Spread ⅔ of the mixture (about 3 cups) into the prepared pan. Set aside.
- Pour milk chocolate chips on top of the mixture. Pour the caramel sauce over the milk chocolate chips.
- Carefully start placing flattened dollops of the remaining cookie dough over the caramel. I find it works best to pick up a small handful, flatten it in your hand a bit, and then place that directly on top of the caramel. Do this with all the remaining dough. It is okay if there is some caramel showing.
- Bake for 38-40 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Let the bars cool on the counter for 30 minutes. Then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for an hour before cutting and serving.
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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
This flavor combination is out of this world. What I love most about these bars is how the oatmeal cookie base stands up against the rich caramel and chocolate layer, creating a balanced, sturdy, and delicious oatmeal cookie bar.
These bars are the perfect blend of a chewy oatmeal cookie, sticky sweet caramel, and luscious chocolate. They are substantial, which I love!
These are so delicious. The milky chocolate, sticky caramel, and soft oatmeal cookie pair so nicely together. The caramel and chocolate provide a deliciously rich flavor but the oatmeal balances it out perfectly!
These bars are so so delicious. Perfect oatmeal cookie base with delicious caramel and melty chocolate touch. I couldn't stop eating these!