Baked Chocolate Chip Oatmeal bars are a decadent treat perfect for any occasion. This easy dessert recipe uses refrigerated cookie dough and combines chocolate chips, nuts, oats, caramel, and a hint of coarse sea salt for an explosion of flavor. They are a welcome addition to any dessert table.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
These dessert cookie bars, while out of this world delicious, are so simple to make using this easy recipe. This make-ahead dessert is ideal for parties, cookouts, or intimate gatherings. It’s also a great recipe to add to your Christmas baking list and cookie exchange party.
For added convenience this recipe uses store bought cookie dough. But if you want to make your own, go right ahead!
Making bar cookies is a great way to get different flavor combinations and textures in one bite. The soft and chewy cookie, the layers of chocolate and caramel, and the crunch of the nuts and oats are everything you need in a dessert bar. Baking them and allowing them to cool completely will allow for the shape to hold better which is great for your guests to be able to pick up and eat as finger food.
If you are making them at home for an intimate gathering or for your kids as an after school treat, you might like to serve them warm at the point where they are less molded and a little gooey. You’ll need a fork or spoon and can add a scoop of ice cream for a delicious treat!
How to make chocolate chip oatmeal bars
Making sure your pan is prepped ahead of time with parchment paper will allow for easy removal of the bars. Easily double the recipe for a crowd or make an extra batch to freeze for use at a later date.
- Preheat the oven and in a large bowl break up the cookie dough. Knead in the oats and set aside some for the topping. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper, and press cookie dough into the bottom evenly. This will form the base crust.
- Place in the oven for the initial bake, meanwhile in a small bowl, mix caramel topping, flour, and vanilla until combined.
- Remove partially baked crust from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts evenly over the crust.
- Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture over top and finish with remaining cookie crumble.
- For an extra layer of flavor I like to sprinkle a little bit of course sea salt over the top before baking. It adds such a great balance to the sweet bars!
- Bake until golden brown and allow to cool before cutting.
Can I substitute the nuts?
The great thing about these bars is you can substitute almost anything! Of course with the understanding that the flavors and textures will be different. But there is nothing better than having different go-to cookie bar recipes, right?!
- You can completely omit the nuts for a nut-free bar if your kids are bringing them to school for lunch or a bake sale.
- Or swap out the pecans for walnuts, peanuts, or almonds.
- You can also try peanut butter chips in place of the mini chocolate chips.
What if I don’t have quick-cooking oats?
You can definitely use old fashioned rolled oats if that is what you have on hand. Quick oats are typically smaller and thinner, so just be aware that if you are using old fashioned rolled oats you will have a cookie bar with a heartier oat texture.
How to store cookie bars
Chocolate chip oatmeal cookie bars will remain fresh in an airtight container or plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 5 days (if they last that long!). You can also freeze bars once completely cooled in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
More Cookie and Bar Recipes to love
If you like our chocolate chip oatmeal bars, you’re going to love these other baked treats.
- Easy Pecan Pie Bars with Sugar Cookie Crust
- BEST Glazed Lemon bars recipe!
- Chocolate Marshmallow Nut Bars
- Guava Bars
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- BEST Peanut Butter Cookie recipe
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- 1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats
- 2/3 cup caramel ice cream topping
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in oats and reserve 1/2 cup dough for topping.
- Line a 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper for easy release, and press dough mixture evenly in bottom to form crust.
- Bake 10 minutes or until dough puffs and appears dry.
- In a small bowl mix caramel topping, flour and vanilla until well blended. Set aside.
- Remove partially baked crust from oven, and sprinkle nuts and chocolate chips evenly over crust.
- Drizzle the caramel mixture evenly over the top.
- Crumble reserved 1/2 cup dough mixture over caramel.
- Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool 10 minutes on a cooling rack.
- Run knife around sides of pan to loosen bars. Lift up using the edges of the parchment paper, and cool completely on a cooling rack, about 1 1/2 hours.
- For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Store tightly covered.