Doctorate Housewife

What my degree in IPE didn't teach me about baking, DIY, fitness, and life…

Biscoff Caramelita Bars for National Junk Food Day

Happy National Junk Food Day, yes apparently there is one (or so says my calendar of random official holidays). It’s also Belgian National Day. Belgium is my home, but it’s also the home of speculoos (i.e Biscoff) and so I feel it’s only fitting to celebrate with yet another speculoos themed treat. Here you go: It’s yummy and gooey and just right. I’d hesitate before calling it junk, but it’s definitely not health food. It is however super tasty, satisfies the sweet tooth (therefore qualifies as a legit celebration of National Junk Food Day) and is laced with a serious dose of speculoos (Vive la Belgique/Gefeliciteerd België)

These oatmeal caramel bars from The Canadian Baker are some of my favourites (and one of the first recipes I found on a blog – eek time flies). I’ve tried them a few times. I can’t get the caramel candies here in Brussels, so I have to improvise a little bit. The first time I added way to much caramel sauce. It soaked through and turned the whole thing into a sloppy, ugly mess. A very tasty mess mind you, but definitely a mess. The next time I tried to compensate and ended up overdoing it – the bars ended up as glorified oatmeal cookies. Nothing wrong with that of course, but not really what I was going for. And then it struck me – speculoos would go perfectly (and thicken up the caramel). So I made up the batter as prescribed, cooked up a half batch of caramel sauce and while it was still warm added 3/4 cup of speculoos spread. To get a real feel for the biscoff caramel, I omitted the chocolate from the original recipe, though next time I think I’d sub it out with white chocolate morsels (white chocolate and biscoff is the yummiest!)

If I do say so myself, these guys are delicious – best served slightly warm and à la mode =)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick oats (if you’re using old-fashioned oats, process them in food processor for a few pulses first)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine (softened)
  • 3/4 cup biscoff (speculoos) spread
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Here’s what you do:

  1. Heat oven to 175C (350F) Line 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in large mixing bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly (I found it useful here to use my hands and a knife, but whatever works for you).  Press half the mixture into pan. Bake for 10 minutes. This solidifies the base so the caramel doesn’t seep through too much.
  3. While baking, make caramel. Melt 1/2 cup sugar in medium heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Take your time, stirring the melted sugar towards the center as it melts. Don’t over stir. When sugar is completely melted and turns amber, remove from heat and add half the cream and salt. If caramel seizes, return to low heat and stir till sugar melts again. Add in remainder of cream. Finally add in speculoos. Stir until smooth.
  4. Pour on top of partially baked oatmeal bar. (Here’s where you would add the white chocolate chips if you so fancied.) Add remaining oatmeal mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
  5. Let cool and cut – yum!

Print Recipe

Now grab some friends and celebrate! Happy Junk Food Day and Happy Birthday Belgium =)

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9 comments on “Biscoff Caramelita Bars for National Junk Food Day

  1. Patty
    July 21, 2012

    Happy Belgium day! Thank you for thinking of people like me and have choc-free recipes!!! Definitely one to try!

    • Jessi
      July 21, 2012

      My pleasure. T’is totally worth trying =)

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  4. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life
    August 12, 2012

    National Junk Food day? How did I miss that one? And biscoff and caramel together sounds like a wonder mix of flavors!!! Love it!!!

    • Jessi
      August 12, 2012

      Thanks. Yeah I know, i’ve put it in my calendar for future years so I can take full advantage =p

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This entry was posted on July 21, 2012 by in Baking, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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