Peanut Butter Caramel Crunchy Oat Bars - FOOD PHOTO SHOOT

in photography •  last month

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How is it that moms always make the yummiest cookies?

My mom was always known for making some of the best cookies in town when I was a kid. I’ll never forget the giddy feeling we’d get when hearing the sound of her kitchen-aid mixer turn on. It’s a sound that still brings joy to our household, only now it’s usually me behind it making the cookies.

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Chocolate chip cookies will probably remain the family favorite forever, but sometimes she’d make peanut butter or m&m. Oh, and she also made a killer oatmeal cookie. I remember the first time she taught me all of her tips and tricks for the perfect batch and then I slowly became the main baker in the family a few years after that.

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Surprisingly, caramelitas were one of the few things that Mom didn’t make. However, they’re a classic southern treat. When I was a kid they’d show up at nearly every party or event with friends and family. I’m not sure if this is just a southern thing, but the ladies in my mom’s circle of friends always liked to keep their famous recipes under lock and key.

Luckily I grew up in the age of the internet where a simple search brings up about a million versions of caramelita recipes to choose from. Of course, you know I can’t leave well enough alone when it comes to recipes. Which brings me to how I came up with this recipe. It’s basically a cross between all the cookie flavors my mom taught me to make and a classic caramelita. This has become a go-to when we have guests and it’s a recipe I’m so excited to share with you!

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Peanut Butter Caramel Crunchy Oat Bars


Take an already decadent treat like caramelitas to the next level with these loaded cookie bars.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16 - 18 bars

Ingredients


Caramel Sauce:
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup coconut cream
1 1/2 tablespoons strong black coffee
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cookie Layer:
1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/4 coconut oil melted
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons plant-based milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
2 cups quick cooking oats GF if needed
1/2 cup roasted salted peanut (roughly chopped)
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about 1 1/3 cups dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate divided

Instructions


First make the caramel. Combine brown sugar, coconut cream, syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Bring to a soft boil and stir occasionally, scraping sugar from sides of pan, for about 12 minutes or until it reaches 240 degrees F (115C) and starts to get thick and develop a dark amber color. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coffee then cool for about 5 minutes while you make the cookie dough.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease a 8x8 inch glass pan. Cream peanut butter, coconut oil, and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Scrape sides of bowl, then add milk and mix until combined. Add vanilla, baking powder, and salt until mixed, then add cornstarch, oats, and peanuts and stir to combine. Divide the dough in half and press one half into prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 10-12 minutes until it begins to brown on the edges. Remove from oven and pour on the caramel.
Sprinkle on the chocolate chunks and then crumble the second half of the dough on top. Return pan to oven and bake for 22 - 25 minutes until the edges are browned. Cool completely before cutting and serving. (You can place the pan in the fridge as soon as it's cool to the touch to cool them faster.)

Recipe Notes


If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.

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ALL CONTENT IS MINE AND ORIGINAL! All of these food photos were taken with my Nikon D750 and my favorite Lens, the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G. You can find out more in my INTRO POST.

Also, a huge shoutout to @rigaronib for designing my logo!

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If you're looking for more recipes check out some of my other recent posts!
  1. Homemade Granola with Figs & Blueberries
  2. Goji Berry Banana Chia Breakfast Jars
  3. Rice Bowls with Crispy Chickpeas & Aji Ranch
  4. Colorful Veggie Hummus Pizza
  5. Bananas, Sunflower Seeds, & Oat Bars

Also, check out my recap of last year
  1. Recapping 2018 for Gringalicious - Part 1
  2. Recapping 2018 for Gringalicious - Part 2
  3. Recapping 2018 for Gringalicious - Part 3

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Those bars look fantasic and yummy!)))

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Thank you so much!

You inherited food making from your mom, she is a blessing to you. The peanut butter is good for Sunday afternoon!

Thanks for making our day yummy 😋 @gringalicious

Posted using Partiko iOS

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I'm so glad you like it.

I'm always close to more impressed with your ability to set up and photograph these dishes than even the food itself. In another parallel life, I would have loved to have gone down this path @gringalicious. I have two friends in Minneapolis that make their livings as food photographers. Are you still using the D750?

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Yes, it's such an awesome camera. Although these were taken on my D5300. Thanks for your awesome compliments.

This is not a recipe, this is heaven 😍

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These look delish!
Great shoot as always :)

Posted using Partiko iOS

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Still not made any of your recipies yet but keep resteeming for when I get round to it. They always look so yummy!

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It's my pleasure to share!

This is a gem of a recipe i will save it to make it :D

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I'm so glad you like it.

I guess the reason why moms make the yummiest cookies is because they always think about how their family or children would have liked their cookies to taste like or what are the favorite ingredients their family would wanted to have in their cookies. And most importantly moms special ingredient that they always added would be their love for their family that makes it more sweeter...

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You're so right. Thanks!

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My kids will love this for sure! I'm planning to give this a try anytime tomorrow and hopefully will get love from my family.
Thank you for the recipe! :)

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I really hope it's enjoyed!

wow. look delicios. good job my friend.

Looks delicious

Posted using Partiko Android

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