This Chewy Caramel Cashew Bars recipe is a delicious combination of salty and sweet with oats, caramel, chocolate, butterscotch and cashews!
I was recently asked to make some type of bars as part of a lunch for a large group of volunteers. The first thing that came to mind was something chocolate because I love everything chocolate. But this group of volunteers was mainly men and many of the guys I know are bigger fans of caramel than chocolate.
Plus, my husband loves desserts with nuts in them, so I finally settled on Chewy Caramel Cashew Bars. These chewy bars are a delicious combination of salty and sweet!
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They were a big hit along with the scotch-a-roos that another person brought. And I was right to go with my instincts on the caramel because someone else brought delicious chocolate fudge but only a few pieces went.
Now if it had been a group of female volunteers, that fudge would’ve disappeared in a hurry! Mix up the oats layer using a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and set aside 1 cup for the top. Press the remaining oat mixture into the bottom of a jelly roll pan.
I used my Wilton cookie sheet with sides that measures 15 x 10. Melt the caramels and sweetened condensed milk in the microwave. Pour over the bottom layer and top with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, cashews and the cup of oat mixture that was set aside. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes.
My favorite part about these bars besides the delicious sweet/salty/crunchy combination of caramel, chocolate, and butterscotch is that they are made in a jelly roll pan so you get a ton of bars for your effort.
One of the elderly women told me that she really liked these bars because she felt that the cashews, oats, and eggs in the bars would give the volunteers more energy and be more filling than other desserts would.
I wasn’t even thinking about that when I chose these bars, but I do know that this recipe is going on our favorites list and we will be making it often.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 11 oz caramels about 35
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 1 cup cashews halves and pieces
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, crushed crackers, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and shortening, with a stand mixer, until smooth.
- Cream the brown sugar and granulated sugar.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.
- Stir in the rolled oats.
- Remove one cup of the oat mixture and set aside.
- Press the remaining oat mixture into a foil-lined jelly roll pan.
- Put the sweetened condensed milk and caramels in a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 3-4 minutes, stirring after each minute until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the caramel over the bottom layer in the jelly roll pan.
- Sprinkle with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and cashews.
- Crumble the remaining cup of the oat mixture over the top of the bars.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes.
Adapted from Salted Chewy Cashew-Caramel Bars
More are a few more of my recipes for bars: