Caramel Bars

The Easy Chocolate Caramel Bars were great, but I wanted to try a second version a little more like the Sheila’s Dream Bars we sometimes buy at Pot Belly Sandwich Shop. Those bars don’t contain oats, and I read somewhere that the caramel in the middle is the kind used for candy apples.  There are a few different brands of caramel mixes you can buy for apple dipping (they’re usually in the produce aisle), but I immediately thought of an old product from the ’70s called “Wrapples“. I hadn’t seen them in a couple of decades, then the other day noticed that Concord Foods had a similar product.

Caramel Apple Circles

So yes, I could have just used caramels or Kraft caramel bits, but I was kind of fixated on the idea of effortlessly laying the caramel over the base without having to unwrap or melt it.

Caramel Oat Bars

The bars were a success. The caramel, which of course didn’t have any extra butter or cream added to it, was stiffer than usual, but still tasty. I can’t say it was any better than using a mixture of cream and melted caramel bits, though. I’m still working on finding a good homemade/scratch caramel filling, but the few I’ve tested have been a little too greasy.

Caramel Filled Bars

Caramel Filled Bars

Chocolate Caramel Filled Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Buttery shortbread bars with a layer of caramel in the center.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus 3 1/2 teaspoons (5.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 scant teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 circles of candy apple caramel
  • 2 tablespoons (approximately) miniature chocolate chips or chopped nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray or just line it with nonstick foil.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave-safe dish, then remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Stir the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar together in the mixing bowl.
  4. Whisk together the egg yolk, vanilla and melted butter, then pour into dry mixture and stir until crumbly. Put 1 cup of the mixture in the refrigerator (chilling it a bit helps make it easier to crumble). Press remaining into the pan.
  5. Unwrap the caramel circles and lay them over the dough.
  6. Crumble the reserved dough over the caramel and sprinkle chocolate chips or nuts on the top.
  7. Bake on center rack for 20 to 23 minutes. Let cool completely at room temperature. For a cleaner cut, chill for about an hour or until firm and cold.
  8. Lift from pan and cut into squares or bars


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  1. says

    You’re a genius! The idea of using those caramel apple wraps as a filling is brilliant even if they didn’t yield the perfect texture. The previous recipe with the oats sounds so good to me right now!!

  2. Beth says

    Great idea. They look great.
    I love the Carmel circles. I’ve used them in the middle of brownies to make easy caramel brownies.

  3. says

    Hi Beth,
    I’m glad to hear you were able to find the caramel circles, too. Not sure how widespread the distribution is or where.

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