Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Bars

cookie-bars

Did you know that Pillsbury has recently come out with a line of gluten free doughs? I recently came across their new line of doughs in the supermarket. I’m so glad that companies like Pillsbury have expanded to the gluten free market and their products are widely available.

Thanks to Pillsbury, I have just had the opportunity to try some of their Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Cookie Dough. I was so excited to try it! I knew that I couldn’t just roll them in to balls and pop them in to the oven. I had to do something fun with this new product.

My favorite kind of cookie is a cookie bar. Something about them just allows for more amazing things to happen. You can layer them. You can stuff them. You can add all sorts of yummy stuff to them. A cookie bar is always the way to go. My favorite cookie is typically an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. I knew I had to do some sort of mash-up. That lightbulb moment happened where I decided to make a layered oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bar. Right away, I knew what would go in the middle of the two gluten free cookie doughs. The only option in my mind was caramel. Gooey and creamy caramel. My mouth is watering thinking about it!

I first mixed up my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough. I used gluten free oats along with a gluten free flour blend. I slightly adapted the recipe that is on the Quaker Oats canister.

mixing-the-dough

I pressed the mixture in to a sprayed 9×13 baking pan.

oatmeal-layer

Next, I melted caramel bits along with a few tablespoons of heavy cream. I love the caramel bits because they melt faster than the squares and there is no unwrapping to do.

caramel

I poured the caramel over the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough mixture.

pouring-caramel

Next, I used my cookie dough scoop to spoon out even balls of the Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough. I placed them over the caramel.

cookie-balls-pre-baked

I then baked everything at 350 for around 26-27 minutes. I kept my eye on the cookie bars for even browning. The cookie bars couldn’t cool fast enough. I let them cool completely before cutting.

cookie-bars-out-of-the-oven

Holy moly. These cookies bars are amazing. They are the perfect indulgent dessert for a crowd. I hope you enjoy!

**This article is sponsored by Pillsbury. The recipe and content is my own. To check out some other gluten free recipes featuring the line of Pillsbury doughs, go here!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Bars
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: gluten free

Ingredients
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer – slightly adapted from Quaker Oats
  • 1 stick plus 6 Tbsp. softened butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1.5 cups Gluten Free Flour Blend (use one that includes xanthan gum in the ingredients)
  • 1 tsp. gluten free Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 cups Gluten Free oats
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Caramel Layer
  • 1.5 cups Caramel Bits
  • 3 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer
  • 1 tub of Pillsbury Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Layer
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together. Bean in the eggs and vanilla.
  2. In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips and the oats until well incorporated.
  5. Spray a 9×13 pan and press the oatmeal chocolate chip mixture in to the pan.
Caramel and Cookie Layers
  1. Place the caramel bits and the heavy cream in a small sauce pan. Heat the pan to medium-high and stir frequently until well melted.
  2. Once everything is melted and mix well, remove from heat.
  3. Pour the caramel over the oatmeal chocolate chip mixture.
  4. Using a cookie scoop, spoon the chocolate chip cookie dough over the caramel layer.
  5. Bake in oven for around 27 minutes, until the top has an even brown tone.
  6. Cool completely before cutting. The bars will be gooey from the caramel.
  7. Enjoy!

cookie-bars

Chocolate, Caramel and Marshmallow Biscoff Cookie Bars

I first encountered Biscoff cookies several years ago on a Delta flight. I immediately fell in love with these cinnamon and ginger spiced cookies. They melt in your mouth and are so fantastic with a cup of coffee. At the time, you couldn’t find the cookies anywhere except for Europe and the plane. I can now purchase the cookies at my local store, and the cookie butter or Speculoos is available everywhere. It’s all so good! If you haven’t yet tried Biscoff or Speculoss, both the spread and the cookies, you’re missing out.

Biscoff Cookies

I recently picked up a package of the cookies and decided I had to turn it in to something else. I love cookie bars. I came up with two different recipes. One of which I am sharing with you today.


Chocolate, Caramel and Marshmallow Biscoff Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 – 8.8 oz package Biscoff or Speculoos Cookies
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 stick Butter or Earth Balance Buttery Stick, melted

Caramel Layer:
14 oz or 1 package Kraft Caramel Squares, peeled
3 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Marshmallow Layer:
1.5 cups Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter or Earth Balance

Chocolate Layer
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp. Earth Balance Shortening
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the cookies in the bowl of your food processor and process completely. Add in the brown sugar. Slowly pour in the melted butter to incorporate. Press crust ingredients in to a greased or parchment-lined 9×13 baking pan. Bake in oven for 17 minutes. Cool.

For the caramel layer, melt the caramel in a saucepan with the heavy cream. You must stir this often. You should be melting the caramel at a medium-low hear or it will burn.  Once the caramels are melted, stir in the sea salt and the cinnamon.

Pour the caramel over the cooled cookie crust. Let the caramel cool completely. I recommend chilling in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

For the marshmallow layer, heat up the marshmallow fluff, cinnamon and butter in a microwave or on the stovetop. You only need about 40 seconds in the microwave so it is easily spreadable.  Spread over the chilled caramel. Place back in fridge for another 30 minutes.

Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the shortening, stirring frequently. Stir until smooth. If the chocolate is too thick, you can thin with some additional shortening. Spread the chocolate over the chilled marshmallow. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Return to the fridge and chill for at least an hour.

Once everything is set, it’s time to slice. It can get messy. Use a sharp knife. When not eating, keep these bars in the fridge for optimal conditions. These bars are very rich, so I recommend cutting in small pieces.

Enjoy!

biscoff-cookie-bars

Homemade Caramel Corn

I have always hated shopping. As a kid, even more so. I was the worst companion at Dayton’s or City Center. I just wanted to get out of there. I do remember though, that at the end of each shopping trip to Dayton’s, the experience was sweetened by a trip to Candyland. This old school candy and popcorn emporium was some sort of tastebud paradise. A bag of popcorn or caramel corn for my sisters and I, and a bag of jujubees for my mom. Life was good.

I don’t think I have had real caramel corn since once of those shopping trips, but I was reminded of the crunchy sweet goodness of the stuff the other day. While browsing the kosher grocery store on Thursday night, a woman next to me had cart full of tubs of caramel corn. I mosied on over to the aisle and saw that the tubs were $5 and that they also contained pretzels and peanuts. Huh? We didn’t need the glutens, and $5 for a small tub of popcorn and sugar seemed pretty overpriced. We always have popcorn in the house. There’s always sugar and butter as well. What more did I need?

I set out to make it motzei shabbat. J is the expert at the popcorn making  – so I put him to work at the stovetop. We don’t do microwave popcorn. I find it too chemical tasting. I was surprised by how easy it was to make the caramel corn. Just a few ingredients, and a few easy steps! It really is as good as I remembered. Even the kid who doesn’t like caramel loved the stuff.

Homemade Caramel Corn
Ingredients:

6 quarts cooked popcorn (stovetop, storebought, or microwave)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cups corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Place the poprcorn in the biggest mixing bowl you have. I have a few of those restaurant sized stainless steel bowls. If you don’t have them, then just throw them in to a couple of baking pans. The disposable foil 9×13’s are perfect for this.

Preheat the oven to 250.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter at a medium-low heat. You do not want the butter to burn.

Whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup, and the salt.

Keep stirring.  Turn the heat up to medium high. Let the mixture come to a boil for a few minutes. Keep stirring.

Turn the heat off after a few minutes. Add in the baking soda and the vanilla.

Pour the mixture over the popcorn.
Stir the popcorn to coat it entirely.  If you haven’t already done so, dump the popcorn in to the baking pans.

Place the baking pans in the oven at 250.

Stir the popcorn every 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven after about an hour and let cool for aout 10-15 minutes. 

Break up the popcorn and store in an airtight container. Or eat it all up. It was be hard to fight the urge to keep eating. It’s that good! Enjoy!

Homemade Kit Kat Bar Awesomeness

If a recipe includes two sticks of butter and a huge amount of sugar, it’s a sure bet it’s going to taste pretty good. Even one stick of butter is pretty indulgent in this household.

A couple of weeks ago, the most amazing treat possible popped up in my blog reader. Paula Deen, the Butter Queen, concocted homemade kit kat bars. Whodathunkit?!

The rundown of ingredients seemed easy enough. No oven was involved either. Almost too easy! And so good!

You must make these bars. Alas, they taste nothing like a kit kat bar – which is probably a good thing. These treats are way better than anything in the candy aisle. I beg of you – make these bars!

P.S. Thank you to my in-house guinea pigs for tasting these treats to make sure they aren’t poisonous, and thank you to my dear colleagues for letting me bring my creations in to the office and eating these fattening treats so I don’t have to pig out on the whole pan myself.

Homemade Kit-Kat Bars
adapted from Paula Deen (and all around the blogosphere as well)

Ingredients:
75 club crackers
2 sticks of butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter (creamy)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chip
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

Line a 9 x 13 inch foil pan with one layer of club crackers. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add graham cracker crumbs, dark brown sugar, milk, and granulated sugar. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Pour half of the mixture over crackers in pan evenly. Arrange another layer of club crackers over the mixture, then cover that layer with the other half of the butter mixture. Arrange a final layer of club crackers on top. Now lick that buttery, caramelly spoon. You’ll be glad you did. It’s that good.
Combine peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips in a small saucepan. Melt the chocolate mixture. Stir it and stir it some more so that it doesn’t burn. Once melted – spread the chocolate goodness over the crackers.

Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. It needs a good few hours. Cut the bars to desired size and enjoy!


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