Sunday, May 01, 2005

Cappuccino Caramel Oat Bars

Cappuccino Caramel Oat Bars (Adapted from Quaker)

For the bars

3 cups rolled oats
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted and divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup caramel sauce (I used homemade, but you can use pre-made bottled)

Espresso Glaze

2 tablespoons very hot milk
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Heat oven to 350

In large bowl, stir together oats, flours, 1 cup pecans, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, espresso powder and vanilla until combined. Mix this into the butter mixture - beat well.

Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Set aside 2 cups of this mixture.

Scoop the bulk of the oat mixture into the bottom of a 15x10" baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Press with wet or lightly floured hands to form an even layer. Spread caramel over the pressed oat mixture to within 1/4" from edge.

Using the reserved oat mixture, drop teaspoonfuls all over the caramel. Scatter the top with the remaining 1/2 cup pecans.

Bake until the center feels firm when lightly touched, about 20-25 minutes - don't over bake as the sides will be dry. Remove and let cool completely in pan on wire rack.

For the espresso glaze

In a small bowl, whisk together milk and espresso powder. Add powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies in pan. Cut into bars after the glaze has a chance to set up - about 15-20 minutes.

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