Monday, 17 September 2012

Oaty Chocolate Caramel and Pecan Bars!

Over the last couple of weeks I've been craving the oaty sticky taste of cake bars!  No, I'm not pregnant, but I do tend to go through "phases" with my cooking.  Once I find a decent recipe, I usually bake it to death until I find another one to suit my ever-changing taste buds!
Red faced I make this admission....I've never been very good at flapjack, which has always proved rock-hard or too soft to stay together.   I can't seem to find a decent recipe, and the one I did think was decent, has let me down, by coming out like house bricks!  So, in pursuit of another way of feeding my craving, I came across the recipe for Oaty Chocolate Caramel and Pecan Bars.  It was an American Recipe, so I had to convert it to Llbs and Ozs, which is what, I'm afraid I generally work in.  Although I am from the metric age, I was taught by my mum to work in imperial, so grammes and kilos don't mean much to me.

I would like to share with you my lovely recipe.  It's not too much hard work and relatively quick to make up, which is always a big bonus to any time restrained mum!

Oaty Chocolate Caramel and Pecan Bars
9 ozs Flour (I used Plain, but I guess SR would be OK too)
6 ozs  Oats
6 ozs  Brown Sugar
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
12 ozs Margarine
6 ozs  Chocolate (chips or chopped from a bar)
4 ozs Pecan nuts (roughly chopped)
Tin of Carnation Caramel  
13" x 9" tin (or smaller if you want it thicker)  The tin must be atleast 2" deep.
Place the flour, Oats, Brown Sugar, Bicarbonate of Soda and Margarine in to a bowl and "rub" fork the mixture together as though you were making a crumble mix.  It will look a bit gloopy and it won't be as fine as crumble mix, but don't worry.  You do need to break it down as much as you can, and if that means cutting it with a knife, then do that.

Line your tin and take HALF of the "crumble" mix and press really, really firmly into the base of the tin.  This is really important as it needs to stay together when baked

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes on 180C

After the 10 minutes are up, take out of the oven and spread over the chocolate chips and pecans (or indeed any other fruit you'd like to add at this stage).  Then, mix the caramel in the tin and tip over the top of the whole lot. 

Then, add the remaining "crumble" mix to the top and press down a bit.  You won't be able to press too firmly else the mixture from underneath will squirt through.  

Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the top is golden.

Et voila, your cake bar is cooked.  Allow to cool and slice into bars.
QUICK TIP -  If the Caramel sauce is too runny, try mixing it with a tablespoon of flour to thicken it up before cooking.

My daughters and one of their friends were my guinea pigs for this recipe.  They loved it!  However, it is quite sweet, so bear that in mind when cutting the bars.  
Perfect for lunchboxes or in the evening if you need a sneaky nibble.....and, if you pack in enough fruit you'll get atleast one of your five a day!
Happy Baking

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