Oatmeal Caramel Crumble Bars

Like being hit by a powerful wave, I felt knocked off my feet this week. Sluggishly going through the motions, out of bed, into work, home and back to bed. I blame it on the weather, which has taken a turn for the chilly. Baltic breezes have hit this island, and I most definitely need my raincoat.

Now I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of Outsider Tart, an American-style bakery in London, who do the most fabulous bars and brownies. So when I finally perked up enough to do a spot of baking, of course, I turned to their Oatmeal Caramel Crumble Bars.

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They are the last word in decadent calorie-packed baking. A buttery oaty base serves as a prop for a thick layer of caramel, pecans, chopped up chocolate, and yet more oat crumble scattered on top. In fact, they reminded me of flapjacks, only sandwiched with lots of extras. I took a second look at the recipe, and yes indeed, it was startlingly similar.

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I wasn’t hugely enamoured of these bars when they first came out of the oven. They seemed too sweet, too rich, and just a bit sloppy. Once they’d cooled down, and settled, the caramel firmed up, they cut like a dream, and actually tasted alright, but there were too many rich components vying for attention. SALTY, SUGARY, CARAMELY, BUTTERY, NUTTY CHOCOLATY…ehhhh.

I think it must be a characteristic that forms part of the character of American baked goods but my palate just got confused here. Not sure I’d make them again sadly!

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