These bar cookies are easy to make and delicious to eat! With the arrival of cooler weather, they are the perfect treat to have with a hot beverage, although I am perfectly happy to eat them on hot days as well, with a tall glass of iced tea. This recipe makes a lot of bars, but they won't last long. Just be sure to freeze some if you are going to be home alone, or you may be the sole reason your Carmelitas disappear so quickly!
2 C. flour
2 C. quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. butter, softened
1 jar (12.5 oz) caramel ice cream topping (1 C.)
3 T. flour
1 pkg. (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips (1 C.)
1/2 C. chopped nuts
Blend all crust ingredients in a large bowl until crumbly. Press half of the mixture (about 3 C.) into the bottom of a greased 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. For filling, combine caramel topping and 3 T. flour in a small bowl. Sprinkle warm crust with chocolate chips and nuts. Drizzle caramel mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Return to oven and bake 18-22 minutes longer, until golden brown. Cool completely. Refrigerate 1-2 hours until filling is set. Cut into 36 bars.