Salted Oatmeal Toffee Bars

I’m in Vegas with my family for the holidays, and if I don’t catch up on the past weeks of baking, things will get out of hand. And you don’t want to miss these.

I think I made these for the first time like two months ago… or, at least, I made the recipe that I then adapted these into. I’ve been tinkering with the recipe for a while now.

I had set out to find a bar to make that involved butterscotch and oatmeal, but it turns out that people go crazy with butterscotch, and I wasn’t having it. I love butterscotch, don’t get me wrong. But I kind of feel like butterscotch should be a controlled substance in the baking world. I halved the amount the recipe called for, and it still totally overwhelmed what were otherwise a really delicious bar cookie. So I got to thinking, did some tweaking, and three batches later am really happy with what I came up with.

See, these have all the ingredients to be awesome – starting with brown butter. But the brown butter completely disappeared under the tidal wave of butterscotch. So I swapped it out for the more mellow, complementary tones of toffee chips. When I added toasted walnuts in the most recent iteration, I’d finally hit the jackpot.

Something to keep in mind, this makes a huge batch of bars. You could easily halve the recipe to bake in a 8×8 pan and still have ample goodies.

Salted Oatmeal Toffee Bars

Grade: A

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon milk, heavy cream, or whichever dairy product you have in your fridge
  • 3/4 cup toffee chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish/pan with cooking spray.

Throw the walnuts into a shallow baking dish and toast them in the warm oven for 6-9 minutes. Or do so on the stovetop. However you like to toast your nuts. (Ha). Toasting nuts really makes a flavor difference, so don’t skip that.

In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Note: if you’re using unsalted butter, adding a pinch of salt helps it to brown more smoothly. Continue to cook 3-5 minutes until butter becomes an amber/golden color, and then remove it from the heat. It’ll bubble/foam up, so keep an eye on it so as not to burn. Let it cool off a little bit before moving on.

In a large bowl, combine the browned butter and brown sugar and mix until smooth. Then add in the eggs and vanilla and stir together. Add coconut flakes and mix again until smooth.

In another medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and oats, and whisk to combine. Gradually stir flour mixture into wet ingredients until all ingredients are pretty much incorporated. Then stir in 1 tablespoon milk/cream to help bring mixture together. Gently fold in the toffee chips and walnuts.

The batter will be thick, so press the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle with salt flakes (I tend to be pretty liberal with salt – maybe 1-1 1/2 teaspoons). Bake for 25-30 minutes until mixture is set and top looks dry. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars and serving.

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