DISCLAIMER: No turtles were harmed in the making of this dessert.
However, be warned: these bars tend to disappear quickly.
Years ago, before I had even begun my baking career, my dad bought me a book called “Baked Explorations.” At the time, I thought it was weird. He must have had a vision of some sort or simply a healthy dose of fatherly intuition, however, because I’ve managed to dig up all sorts of quirky and surprisingly tasty concoctions from that strange little book since that fateful day.
One of my favorites, these buttery Heartland Turtle Bars are a delicious combination of chocolate, oats, homemade caramel, and pecans. They’re quick and simple to make, and are sure to please chocolate-lovers everywhere!
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1.75 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- 1.5 cups chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 tbs heavy cream
1. Set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and butter the bottom of a 13×9 inch pan. You can also line the bottom with parchment paper if you’re worried about the bars sticking.
2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium-size bowl.
3. Rub the brown sugar into the flour mixture with your (clean!) hands, and then stir in the oats until evenly combined.
4. Using a wooden spoon, make a well–or an indent–in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the melted butter. Stir until wet and evenly combined.
5. Spread 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the 13×9 pan, and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
6. Remove the pan from the oven. If you bought whole instead of pre-chopped pecans, chop them (I prefer them chopped fine) and spread them on a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the oven for 4-5 minutes, or until the pecans become aromatic. Be careful not to scorch them!
7. Spread the pecans and chocolate chips over the oat mixture in the 13×9 pan.
8. Now, make the caramel. Cut the butter in the “caramel ingredients” section into cubes and melt it with brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Let boil for 1 minute while stirring occasionally. It should foam up, so make sure it doesn’t overflow!
9. Remove saucepan from heat, and stir in the heavy cream. Pour caramel over the pecans and chocolate on the oat mixture.
10. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the oat mixture on top, and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
11. Remove from oven, and allow to cool. I personally like to put it in the fridge after it’s cooled down a bit, because it tends to set better that way. Once it’s set, cut into bars and serve, and prepare for them to disappear quickly.
Let me know what you think! I always love to hear your reviews and/or modifications to the recipe.
Thanks for stopping by,