Friday, 26 October 2012

Oatmeal, Caramel and Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars

So far everything I've posted has been pretty easy to make.. Nothing too challenging, but the taste is unaffected. These bars go into this category.

I made this as an Eid treat for my family (Happy Eid!!), and if I hadn't burnt the caramel once and forgot to turn on the oven for half an hour, this would've been done so quickly. But a tired me in the kitchen means lots of silly mistakes.

If you're a fan of bars, you should make these. They're easy and soo adaptable. I changed them and added more chocolate, more pecans, some coconut (wish I added more) and extra topping, and I can see myself trying to make this again with dried fruits, a variety of nuts and extra coconut for the filling, or maybe adding some cinnamon and nutmeg to spice up the topping. Whatever you fancy. Make it your own! I did. 

Oatmeal, Caramel and Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars

Adapted from Baked in America
Makes a lot, so feel free to half the recipe to make it suitable!

For the base:
150 grams rolled oats
225 grams plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
175 grams dark brown sugar
175 grams unsalted butter melted

For the filling:
600 grams homemade dulce de leche (1 can of condensed milk), or bought*
4 tablespoons plain flour
200 grams dark chocolate chip
200 grams pecans, chopped

For the crumb topping:
130 grams rolled oats
190 grams plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
150 grams of dark brown sugar**
90 grams dessicated coconut
140 grams melted butter

If you're making your own dulce del leche, then start with that, if using store bought then skip to the next set of instructions. I used this website and tried the oven method, which was easy enough for me. Try making it using whichever method you feel comfortable with. 

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Cover a fairly large pan (mine was about 15 inches x 12.5 inches) with foil and grease the foil with cooking spray or a little bit of oil. 

Combine all the base ingredients in a bowl until evenly distributed and crumbly, then press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until light golden brown in colour. Take out to cool for 10 minutes and leave the oven turned on. During this time mix together all the topping ingredients until evenly distributed and crumbly, and set aside. 

Once cooled, sprinkle the chopped pecans and chocolate chips.  Mix the dulce del leche and the flour, and dollop and spread over the nuts and chocolates. Stay clear of the sides of the pans to avoid the bars sticking once baked. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the caramel, and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Let the bars cool completely in the pan before cutting into square (needless to say, we didn't stick to this last instruction. The bars were so crumbly when warm but were oh so good. We wish we had some ice cream to eat with it.)

*Ok, so this dulce de leche caused me some grief. Initially I kind of burnt the first batch, and I was able to save some of it by pushing it through a sieve, and added half of another can we had in the fridge and started over. So I can't tell you the exact amount I used, I'm just estimating.

**I used half dark brown and half granulated because I ran out of dark brown, I think it would be better to use the dark brown in the topping for a nicer colour and maybe a mixture of sugars in the base.

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