1996 honorable mention: caramel oat bars

16 Bars
½ cup Unsalted butter; softened
¼ cup Sugar
¾ cup Rolled oats
⅔ cup All-purpose flour
14 ounces Sweetened condensed milk
½ cup Unsalted butter
¼ cup Brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract; to 2 ts
¼ cup Unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Water
2 tablespoons Cocoa; sifted
1½ cup Confectioners' sugar; sifted




Karen Kruckenberg of Harvard, Illinois earned an honorable mention in the 1996 Chicago Tribune Annual Holiday Cookie Contest with a simple recipe for caramel oat bars from England.

1. Heat oven to 350'F. For base, beat butter and sugar in small bowl of electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add oats and flour; beat until smooth. Press into greased 8-inch-square or 9-inch-square baking pan. Bake until set, 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare caramel mixture. Heat condensed milk, butter and brown sugar to a boil in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Boil, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

Pour caramel mixture over cooked base; allow to cool completely.

3. To prepare icing, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cocoa and water until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar; stir until mixed well. Spread over cooled caramel layer. Allow to set before cutting. Store refrigerated.

Source: Chicago Tribune, December 4, 1996

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