Another great tray bake. Oats, pecans, chocolate and caramel. I like to think the oats mean you can convince yourself this is somehow healthy!
Once again, my toddler’s favourite supermarket magazine provides inspiration for another recipe!
Ingredients (makes approx. 18 squares)
- 200 g / 7 oz chocolate of your choice. I used milk chocolate but you could use dark or plain.
- 250 g / 9 oz butter/ margarine
- 225 g / 8 oz oats
- 250 g / 9 oz plain flour
- 350 g / 12 oz light soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 125 g / 4.5 oz pecan nuts
- 400 g / 14 oz caramel. Handily, this is exactly the quantity in a tin you can buy (sold here in the UK by Carnation). But I’m sure you can get it in a bottle or even make your own!
- 50 g / 2 oz chocolate for decoration
Line a 30 cm x 20 cm tin (12 in x 8 in) with greaseproof (baking) paper. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C / Gas Mark 4 / 350 degrees F.
Chop 100 g of the pecans (keep the remaining 25 g for final decoration) and 200 g chocolate into small pieces. I tried to take a picture so you could see the kind of size I’m talking about… but it came out quite over-exposed. Sorry!
If you have whole oats, you need to whizz them in a food processor to break them up slightly. Alternatively, you can buy oats which are already processed (luckily this is the sort I had in the cupboard!).
Put the oats, flour, sugar and bicarb of soda in a large bowl. Melt the butter (I used a microwave, but you could melt the butter in a pan on the hob) and pour onto the dry ingredients. Stir through until all the dry ingredients are coated with the butter. Put roughly two thirds of this mixture into your tin and press down until it forms a uniform, tightly-packed layer.
Sprinkle your chopped chocolate and pecans over this lower oaty layer. Like this:
Put 50 g of your caramel in a bowl and put to one side. Pour the rest of the caramel over the mixture in your tin. Like this:
Put the final third of the oaty mixture in the tin so it covers the chocolate, pecans and caramel. Push this top oat layer down to form another even, tightly-packed layer. Put the remaining pecans on the top, so you have something that looks a bit like this:
Put the oat and pecan tray bake in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden. Leave to cool in the tin. Turn out onto a cutting board. Drizzle with the remaining caramel and the 50 g melted chocolate.
Wait for the toppings to set. You can hurry this process along by putting the oat and pecan tray bake in the fridge for half an hour. Slice into squares.
While these oat and pecan squares may not sound addictive, I warn you, they are!
This entire tray’s worth vanished far too quickly 🙂 The gooey chocolate and caramel centre is just delicious.
I’ll finish with a final picture taken in natural light:
And if you’re interested in other tray bakes, please check out:
My chocolate honeycomb squares (no bake!).
My easy Maltesers rocky road (one for chocoholics!).
Claire Huston / Art and Soul