I was excited to make this recipe because it won a "Best Cookie" contest a couple years ago for Child magazine (I found it posted on the CLBB). It is simple and sounds very tasty. And it is very tasty. I enjoy it a lot. However, it is SO BUTTERY. I'm not sure how it won with the amount of butter that is in it. I thought that 3/4 cup was a lot when I was making it, but I went along with it because I figured there was a reason for it. Wrong! You would get a much lighter, less greasy bar cookie if you use about 1/2 cup or maybe even 1/3 cup. These are delicious though and I would like to try them sometime with that reduction in butter.
The recipe also was lacking the temperature for which to bake the bars. I guessed 350 and baked accordingly. I don't know if that's right, it just seemed like a standard temperature. I think it worked out just fine. The initial baking of the bottom crust did need an extra 5 minutes though. Like I said, I'd make these again, just with much less butter.
1 cup plus 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 cup (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
¾ cup caramel ice cream topping
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and melted butter. Blend at low speed to form crumbs.
Step 2: Press half the crumbs into bottom of an 11" by 9" pan; bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chips and pecans.
Step 3: In a small bowl, blend caramel topping with remaining flour. Drizzle over the chips and nuts to cover.
Step 4: Sprinkle remaining crumbs over caramel and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool. Chill covered for 1 to 2 hours and then cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.
Yield: I got about 16 bars.