Banana-Walnut Oatmeal Bars with Salted Caramel and Chocolate

May 28, 2012 · 14 comments in Bars and Brownies

So last week, I made a sophisticated twist on the American classics ‘Girl scout cookies’ as Cocoa cookie sticks.

But this week, I made a more sophisticated twist on the British classics – ‘Banoffee Pie’ (digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche, sliced bananas and whipped cream) and ‘millionaire’s shortbread’ ( layered shortbread, caramel and chocolate) . This time, as a banana-walnut oatmeal bar (aka Flapjacks in the UK) topped with a salted caramel and a drizzle of milk chocolate.

Apparently, drizzling chocolate on food makes it more sophisticated in my mind (wait…does that mean it’s I could eat chocolate drizzled-oreos as ‘sophisticated dessert’ ?)


To be honest, I probably should have been making ice cream this weekend, it would have been more appropriate for the weather – it got up to 29 degrees C! (NOT a fun temperature for cycling in). 

Well, actually, no! I should have made both; I would totally endorse eating these warm with vanilla ice cream…

…while watching ER from the beginning ( George Clooney.) and rocking out to the dramatic hospital music (the oatmeal bar stuffed in your mouth will drown out the sound of your 100% accurate interpretation of the theme tune a bit)
These are pretty much the ultimate twix bar, easy to make, with an awesome twist.
SO. GOOD.

Banana-Walnut Oatmeal Bars with Salted Caramel and Chocolate

makes 16 bars

1/2 cup (6 oz / 170g) golden syrup / mild honey
1/2 cup (4 oz / 110g) butter
1/4 cup (2 oz / 55g) light brown sugar
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (100ml) mashed ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups (10 oz / 280g) quick-cooking oats (not instant)
optional: 
1/3 cup (1.5 oz / 45g) chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) desiccated coconut, toasted

For the salted caramel:
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (100 ml) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream / double cream
1/4 tsp fleur de sel
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Decoration: chopped toasted walnuts, toasted desiccated coconut, chocolate chips*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and line a 10″ x 7″ or 9″ square tin with baking paper and grease the baking paper.

Melt the butter in a medium-large sauce pan. Stir in the sugar and syrup/honey and cook for 5 minutes over a medium-low heat, while constantly stirring. Add in the mashed banana and cook for a further 2 minutes. Sir in the oats, vanilla and optional extras (if you’re adding them in). Pour the mixture into the lined tray, then spread and flatten it out with your hands. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top. Leave it in the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.

In a heavy based saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, cream and salt over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Turn the heat up to medium-high, bringing the mixture to a boil. Let it simmer while you stir constantly with a spatula, scraping the sides and edges of the pan, for 5-7 minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly. Take it off the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Stir until the butter has melted in, then pour the caramel over the baked base and spread it so it covers the entire surface. Sprinkle on any desired toppings then refrigerate until the caramel is firm. Cut into bars/ squares and serve.

*you can melt the chocolate then dip the base of each square in it and drizzle it on after the bars have been refrigerated like I did.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

TastefullyJulie May 29, 2012 at 4:21 am

I LOVE your photos and these look heavenly!

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Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious May 29, 2012 at 4:39 am

I absolutely love old episodes of ER! It gets a bit intense here and there but man, I can get through 10 episodes in a day! And btw, these bars look orgasmic. I’m always looking for ways to use up super ripe bananas so this recipe is absolutely perfect! Plus, I’m a sucker for salted caramel.

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izy June 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm

hahah, true that!

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Cookie and Kate May 29, 2012 at 5:50 am

Oh my. These oatmeal bars are making my stomach growl! Can’t wait to try them.

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MyFudo™ May 29, 2012 at 8:44 am

Really droolworthy! I love the choco drizzles. The ingredients are things I grew up with…Yummy!

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lindseytr0n May 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm

HOLY MOLY.

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Shelley May 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm

WOW! These look amazing! I am putting it at the top of my “to make” list.

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Mercedes May 30, 2012 at 3:17 am

Wow, these look fabulous! What an amazing combination and these bars look so chewy and gooey!

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Jessica Dasilva June 2, 2012 at 7:13 pm

These bars look absolutely amazing! Beautiful photos as well!

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izy June 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm

thanks! I LOVE your blog by the way!!

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thelittleloaf June 4, 2012 at 9:42 am

Just discovered your gorgeous blog – I love it! Beautiful photos and just my kind of recipes too. Signing up to receive all your latest posts now :-)

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candice June 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm

These look delicious. I can not wait to try them….i have to wait though, until there is 1) somewhere where i can take half the pan or 2) at least four other people in the house who will help me eat them. thanks for sharing …and the pics are great!

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