I had a most wonderful long weekend with my sister, who lives in the San Francisco area.
(That's Sister Moon above...I don't know where Brother Sun went...probably for a psychic reading)
They’ve had major rains this late winter, and she was completely and utterly tired of non-stop gloomy mist and dogs that couldn’t go for a walk. So we headed to Sedona, one of the best places on earth to look at the sun and watch middle-aged guys in ponytails earnestly discuss their angst and ogle the teenaged girls getting their skinny latte’s with extra whipped cream. It was beautiful – sunny, mild, perfect for hiking, and dozing in front of a huge bronze eagle in an art gallery, pretending we were part of the exhibit. We ate nachos on the patio of a Mexican restaurant, gourmet Italian in a Tuscany kinda bistro, and corn nuts in the car.
Back home, I look in mild concern at my blog, which is feeble and neglected. Dang, I need to cook/bake something at least half way interesting. But all I can muster up are these disgustingly rich dessert bars. Too much health and navel gazing in Sedona! I need me some butter and sugar and drippy ice cream sauce. And to yell at my husband about the trash still not taken out for 3 days without a big therapy session ending in tears. Ah, home sweet home.
These are adapted from something I’ve made over the years, each time doing something different. They tasted a little dusty this time, so maybe add some cream or extra butter to the oat crust and topping. These actually are pretty good keepers, and good for a nice long hike, smashed in the bottom of your backpack. Cause you all should be thinking about a nice spring hike.
Butterscotch Caramel Oatmeal Bars
1 ¾ cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, melted
12 oz package butterscotch chips
1 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
1 cup Mrs. Richardson’s butterscotch-caramel ice cream topping
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of 9” X 13” baking pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, 1 ½ cup of the flour (reserve the ¼ cup), brown sugar, baking soda. Stir in melted butter. Mix well. Reserve 1 cup of this mixture and set aside. Press remaining mixture into bottom of prepared baking pan.
3. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Mix the butterscotch chips and peanuts in a bowl. Scatter over top of oatmeal crust.
4. Mix ice cream topping with the reserved ¼ cup flour and drizzle over chips and nuts. Sprinkle with the 1 cup reserved oat mixture.
5. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until bubbly on edges and golden brown. Cool in pan on rack, then refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars.