Oatmeal Caramel Truffle Bars – A rich and delicious dessert bar with gooey caramel and brownie layers sandwiched between an oatmeal crust and creamy chocolate ganache.
Think of one of the most decadent chocolate or caramel desserts you’ve ever had. Now think about wrapping all that caramel and chocolaty goodness into a bar. Is your mouth watering?
Yeah, that’s what you get with these Oatmeal Caramel Truffle Bars. They’ll make you think you’ve died and gone to heaven!
As you know, all the Worth Whisking posts this year have followed a monthly theme. In January we had a breakfast theme; February was a chocolate/cherry love-fest. This month, we kind of have three themes – caramel, bar desserts, and Ohio State Fair Cookie Best of Show winners!
Yes, Ohio State Fair Best of Show winners. My last post, the Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars, won Best of Show in the 2017 cookie competition. (You loved these, right? SO scrumptious!) And while these Oatmeal Caramel Truffle Bars are old news with being the 2016 Best of Show cookies, they may be much more amazing!
I wish I could claim these state fair recipes as my own, but the credit actually goes to two amazing Ohio bakers who toughed out the cutthroat state fair baking competition. I first saw this Oatmeal Caramel Truffle Bars recipe in a 2016 article highlighting several Ohio State Fair blue ribbon winners, but I never got around to making it. . .until now. And you’ll be glad that it stuck in my head for an entire year!
The author of the recipe referred to these Oatmeal Caramel Truffle Bars as “multiple layers of decadence.” Truer words have never been spoken! Seriously, this is one of the richest, most indulgent desserts I’ve had in a long time – maybe ever! Okay, maybe that’s pushing it, but they really are pretty amazing!
The oatmeal crust is sweet and buttery, but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. The caramel layer on top of the oatmeal crust is where the real party begins!
Generally, when you melt caramel candies to make a heavenly caramel layer in a dessert, you do it with heavy cream. Oh, not so in these Oatmeal Caramel Truffle Bars! No, we’re kicking it up a notch and melting the caramels with sweetened condensed milk to create a smooth caramel layer that stays soft and creamy.
But wait – there’s more! The party continues with a luscious, gooey brownie layer that just melts in your mouth. The directions state to move your oven rack to the lowest possible position in order to get the pan as close to the heat as possible and bake the brownie layer just right.
Instead, I got crazy, placed the rack on the second lowest position, and baked the brownie layer for about 10-15 minutes more than the recipe states. The result was a slightly underbaked layer of brownie deliciousness that really is more truffle than brownie. It’s totally up to you – stay true to the recipe, or be a rebel!
With all of the different layers, this Oatmeal Caramel Truffle Bars recipe does take some time to pull together, so it’s not something you’re just going to whip up after work on a weeknight. However, if you do have time on your side, and you are craving unadulterated decadence, there’s no question – you have to make this amazing dessert!
I’d love to know if you love these Oatmeal Caramel Truffle Bars as much as I do! Trust me – they’re simply wonderful!
- 1 2/3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1 bag wrapped caramels 11 ounces
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk 14 ounces
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with a parchment paper or aluminum foil sling.
Unwrap the caramels and place in a medium saucepan with butter and sweetened condensed milk. Set aside.
Combine oats, flour, brown sugar and baking soda in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter with a fork. Press into prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Place saucepan containing caramels, butter, and milk on stovetop and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramels have fully melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
Let the oatmeal crust cool for 5 minutes before pouring the slightly cooled caramel mixture on top. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes.
With the oven still at 350 degrees, adjust the oven rack to the lowest possible position.
Whisk the cocoa powder and boiling water together in a large bowl until smooth. Add the unsweetened chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted.
Whisk in the melted butter and oil. Add the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract, and whisk until smooth and completely combined.
Whisk in the sugar until fully incorporated.
Add the flour and salt and mix with a rubber spatula until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Gently spoon batter over the top of the cooled caramel layer.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted about 2 inches from the edge comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool completely.
Combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small saucepan and place over low heat until chocolate has melted and is completely combined with the cream, stirring occasionally. Pour over cooled brownie layer.
Refrigerate until ganache has set up completely. Cut into 35 bars and store in an airtight container.
Recipe slightly adapted from Jennifer Crisman.