Saturday, September 15, 2012

Heartland Turtle Bars - Club Baked

It's Club Baked time and it's my turn to host!!   Our leader, Karen asked me to choose a recipe from the Cookies and Bars section of Baked Explorations.   Heartland Turtle Bars?   I've never lived anywhere else but the Heartland.  Check! The book says the original recipe for these came from a Minnesota church cookbook and my husband is from Minnesota. Check!  Heartland Turtle Bars it is!

The recipe calls for a 9 x 13 pan.  Not wanting to have quite that much dessert in the house, I cut the recipe in half and used a 9 x 9 pan.  These remind me of Magic Cookie bars, with a homemade caramel topping in place of the Sweetened Condensed Milk.  Although there are several steps and some cooling time in between steps, this is a relatively simple dessert to make.  These bars are delicious, rich in butter and chocolate.  Need I say more?

Heartland Turtle Bars
Servings: 24 bars
For the bar topping and base:
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 and 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped into large pieces
1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips
For the caramel filling:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
10 tablespoons ( 1 and 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1. For the bar topping and base: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light colored metal baking pan.
3. Line the pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs the pan on two sides.
4. Butter the parchment.
5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
6. Use your hands to rub in the brown sugar.
7. Add the oats and stir until the ingredients are evenly combined.
8. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour in the melted butter and stir until
the entire mixture is wet and combined.
9. Spread two-thirds of the mixture across the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for about 10
10. Remove the pan from the oven to cool (but leave the oven on).
11. Sprinkle the pecans and chocolate chips across the cooled crust.
12. For the caramel filling: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the sugar and
butter together.
13. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly (the caramel will begin
to darken at this point).
14. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the cream, and pour the caramel directly over the
chocolate pecan layer.
15. Use an offset spatula to evenly distribute the caramel.
16. Sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture onto the caramel and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or
until the top is golden brown.
17. Let the bars cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then place the pan in the refrigerator and
chill for 1 hour to firm up.
18. Cut and serve.

You can find the links to the other Club Baked members Heartland Turtle Bars here.  Next up for Club Baked, Burnt Sugar Bundt Cake with Caramel Rum Frosting.

I am linking this to On the Menu Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday.  


  1. These look amazing! Count me in for anything with chocolate and pecans.

  2. These look so delicious. Great flavors.

  3. Yours look delicious! Great idea to make a 1/2 recipe. I should have done that. These are addicting!

  4. Gorgeous! Looks like they cut and came out of the pan perfectly-enjoy:@)

  5. Perfect! I think have a whole pan of turtle bars sounds just about right!

  6. Oh my goodnes, Julie, these look and sound wonderful. I love bar cookies and I know my family would love them. I'm your newest follower :). Thanks for visiting me!

  7. Wow - these sound wonderful! What a great combination of flavors. Great choice!

  8. These look like such a delicious and gooey treat! I am not a baker, but I do love to make bar cookies! Thank you for joining ON THE MENU MONDAY and sharing this your fabulous heartland turtle bars!

  9. These bars have all my favorite ingredients! Very tasty!

  10. Oh, boy...I can see why you only made 1/2 batch. I wouldn't be able to trust myself with these yummy things. I am your newest follower. Thanks so much for stopping by Posed Perfection on Sunday and leaving me a sweet comment on my Ozark Apple Cake. I hope you'll visit again soon and maybe even follow me back. Have a great week!

  11. This has all the ingredients I love most in a cookie/bar! Great move on the 9 x 9 pan :)

  12. Hi Julie,
    Did you say Turtle Bars? These look heavenly we will just love them. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen


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