Butterscotch-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

Disclaimer:   this is another one of my improvisations. 

Thanks to my dear friend Lis, I’ve rediscovered cookie-bars.  A few years ago, during my first year of law school an overly-zealous resident at the medical center declared that I must have pink eye, and I was ordered to stay home from class for at least three days. This wouldn’t be such a big deal except that it was the last week of classes, and I was a very, very frantic law student petrified by the impending doom of law school exams.  In reality, I really just had aggravated eyes from wearing my contacts too long, but for anyone who is dependent on school health insurance can tell you, the doctors at the clinics are a little to eager to diagnose any and every kind of nasty infection. 

Anyway, while I was at home, quarantined to my hobbit-hole apartment, I had some very kind friends who were intrepid enough to bring me some goodies.  Lis brought me some oatmeal cookie “bars” made with butterscotch chips rather than raisins.  I was intrigued, especially because I’m normally bored out of my mind making little perfect cookie dough balls after the first sheet comes out of the oven.  With the cookie bars, you simply spread the entire batter in a retangular cake (jelly roll?) pan and bake for about double the time.  It really is easy.  By the time you’re finished cleaning up the kitchen, the bars are ready to leave the oven.

For this recipe, I used the general cookie recipe on the oatmeal box and spice it up with two types of chips, butterscotch + chocolate, and then I sprinkled some toffee pieces (left over from the chocolate bark) on the top for good measure before baking. 


1/2 lb of butter softened

1 1/2 cups of brown sugar

2 tsp of vanilla extract (I think I actually forgot to add this – oh well)

2 large eggs

2 cups of rolled oats (I prefer old-fashioned)

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp of cinnamon

1/2 tsp of nutmeg

1/2 tsp of salt

1 cup of butterscotch chips

1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup of toffee pieces.

First, butter (Pam-spray) a large rectangular pan.  It’s not entirely necessary since there’s so much butter-yummy, atery-clogging goodness, but it’s a little easier and it doens’t really change the unhealthiness either way.  Heat the oven to 350.

Beat butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy.  In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together (NOT the chips and candy!).  The reason for this, is you want all the leavening agents to be thoroughly incorporated as well as the spices.  Add this to the wet ingredients.  Add B + C chips.  It’s probably wise to combine these together before adding to the batter, for the same reason as above, a diversity of flavors throughout, rather than in clumps, but as you see from the pictures, I forgot. 


Spread the batter into the pan.  You may need the help of your fingers (a little more to sample!) or if you’re incredibly hygenic, use some wax paper to press the batter down.  Lastly, just for kicks, I sprinkled some toffee pieces before putting in the oven. 


Cookies generally take about 10-12 minutes to bake alone, but I baked these bars for about 25-30.  Let them cool and then cut into squares, and then I decided to cut into triangles, just because, I thought it was prettier.


Here’s another tip — if you want to keep your cookies fresh and moist longer, put a piece of bread in the container.  The cookies will absorb the moisture from the bread before drying out themselves. 


Be sure to remove the stale piece of bread before serving or gifting though.  This batch is going to a group of hungry high school basketball players as a post-game treat, tomorrow.  Shh…


8 thoughts on “Butterscotch-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

  1. Apparently so, apparently so. However, given that Mom would hide the cookies with the linens otherwise Dad would eat them all, it can’t be too great of a rebellion.

  2. Aha! Now the Clevering family secrets start spilling out!

    Karen – I agree with you about the drudgery of forming perfect balls of dough for cookies, and have made cookie bars many times to solve that problem.

    One tip for making clean-up much quicker, although it may be a little wasteful of aluminum foil: place a piece of foil across the bottom of the pan going from side to side, leaving an inch or two hanging over on either side. Now place a piece going the long way, just long enough to cover the ends of the pan. Smooth the peces out to minimize wrinkling and crevices. Spray lightly with cooking spray, and spread the dough in the pan. Once the bars are baked, grab the overhang on the underneath piece (the side-to-side piece), and lift the bars out of the pan. The pan is clean, and the bars are easy to cut.

    Actually, it may not be so very wasteful after all. You can re-use the foil to wrap the cookies for storage. And think of all the hot water you won’t need to use to wash the pan! That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it.

    Another way to get around forming the balls of dough is to roll the dough in wax paper into one or more long rolls about 2 ” in diameter, the actual size depending on how much dough you have and the size of cookies you want to end up with. Freeze the rolls of cookie dough in a ziploc bag (write the baking instructions on the bag). To bake as many or as few as you need at one time, cut 1/2″ slices (once again, depending on how big you want your cookies to be). You can bake them while the dough is still frozen. The cookies won’t spread as much as room-temperature dough and will stay soft and chewy.

    Now we need Marie to chime in!

    Best to all of you,

    Frantzie Couch
    Lawton, OK

    • I never think of freezing dough, but that’s a great idea! I’ve been using parchment paper too to avoid the clean-up. Thanks for reading the blog!

  3. To all the Clevering daughters that I saw grow up being your dad’s dental hygienist I love your website!! And you know how I loved to bring my chocolate chip cookies to the office , so Karen I have to try your B&C Chip Oatmeal Bars!! Sara, Elliott is adorable and I am sure great help in the kitchen playing in the flour!! You all are great at your careers and can fry up the bacon in the kitchen too!! Keep up the great work !! Cheers!! and just don’t forget to brush and floss!! Sharla Waller , Lawton, Ok.

  4. Hi Karen, this is Andrea from Germany, a friend of Sara. I absolutely love your website and I am sooooooo sad I can’t make these butterscotch bars! I absolutely LOVE butterscotch, but they don’t have that here in Germany ;o(((. So, everytime I’ll see this recipe here my mouth will water ;o). Maybe I can find out how to make butterscotch….

    • Hey Andrea, it’s Sara–maybe we will just have to mail you some. I still owe you for introducing me to Milka chocolate ;-)!

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