Monday, December 28, 2009

Wheat-Free O Bars

If your New Year’s resolution involves eating healthier in 2010, make these now! If you plan on incorporating a small amount of not-exactly-nutritious yumminess into your diet next year, feel free to postpone baking these delectable treats until the mood strikes you.

1 package gluten-free graham-style crackers, crumbled

1 ¼ cup old fashioned oats

1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar

½ tsp baking soda

1 ½ sticks butter, chilled and cut into pieces

12 oz. chocolate chips

½ cup whipping cream

14 oz package of caramels, unwrapped

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, oats, brown sugar and baking soda in a food processor. Blend until everything is crumb-size.

3. Add butter and pulse (use the on/off function) until the crumbs begin to stick together.

4. Press all but 2 cups of the crumb mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x 13 pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the crumb crust. Set aside.

5. Add whipping cream to a heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

6. Add caramels and stir until the caramels are melted and the sauce is smooth.

7. Pour the caramel sauce over the chocolate chips.

8. Cover the caramel layer with the reserved crumbs.

9. Bake until the edges are golden brown (15-20 minutes).

A Few Notes:

  • These freeze really well. Cut them into squares, wrap in tinfoil and place in a zip-top freezer bag. When you get a hankering for an O bar, just microwave a single bar until it’s gooey.
  • The original recipe (courtesy of a friend’s mom) is not wheat-free. It calls for 1 ½ cups flour, 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats and 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar. The graham cracker substitution was inspired by my brilliant oat-hating friend Katie, who uses graham cracker crumbs in place of the oats.
  • These aren’t really called “O Bars,” but we try to keep this blog G-rated so make “O” stand for whatever you want…octagon, origami, oligarchy, odd…

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