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When I made these Chocolate Chip Caramel Crumble Bars for the first time, they are so good that my husband Jack told me that I needed to name them something like, “Crazy Good Crumble Bars” or “OMG! These Are Good! Cookie Bars” or simply “YUM!” Bars.
They ARE crazy good…!
This recipe came about after we made our Oatmeal Cranberry Cheesecake Bar recipe a few weeks ago – and with the oatmeal crust, sweet crumble topping, and a delicious cream cheese filling, I started to think about other fillings and variations that would also work with the recipe!
A few days later, I found a bag of caramel bits (we bought them at Wal-Mart or you can find them here) and chocolate chips in our kitchen cabinet – and the wheels in my mind kept turning. And, with a Halloween party to attend last week (and never wanting to show up empty-handed) – I had the perfect excuse to try out a new recipe! And so – these chocolate chip caramel crumble bars were created!
These chocolate chip caramel crumble bars have an oatmeal cookie bottom with a yummy cream cheese middle layer. I sprinkled both semi-sweet chocolate chips and the caramel bits evenly over the cream cheese filling, and then sprinkled the oatmeal crumble topping over the chips before baking. Once baked, both the chocolate chips and the caramel bits melt slightly into the cream cheese mixture – but you still get a bit of the chewiness from the caramel bits!
These chocolate chip caramel crumble bars are my idea of the perfect bar cookie, and I predict they will become a family favorite at your house too!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups quick-cooking oatmeal
- ¾ cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup Kraft Caramel Bits
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flour, oatmeal, and brown sugar. Add the softened butter to the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure out 1½ cups of the crumb mixture and set aside in a separate bowl.
- Pour the remaining crumbs into the prepared baking dish and press evenly into the bottom of the dish. Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, in the same bowl of the stand mixer, cream the softened cream cheese and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix well.
- When the crust is done baking, remove from the oven and pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and caramel bits evenly over the cream cheese mixture, then finish by sprinkling the reserved oatmeal crumbs over the top of the chocolate chips and caramel bits.
- Bake for 30-35 or until completely set in the middle of the pan and very lightly golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate the baking dish for at least 3 hours so that the bars can firm up.
- Once chilled, cut into bars and serve.
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