Autumn Everything Bars
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 12 bars
For the Oatmeal Cookie Base:
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
For the Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
For the Pecan Toffee Streusel:
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup toffee bits
  • ½ cup roasted and chopped pecans
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened beyond room temperature
For Assembling the Autumn Everything Bars:
  • 12 caramel squares
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk
To make the Oatmeal Cookie Base:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch metal baking dish with tin foil, ensuring there is an overlap. Generously spray foil with baking spray, set aside.
  2. Whisk flour, oats, baking soda, and salt together. In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter in 30 second intervals. Once melted, whisk in brown sugar, vanilla, and egg. Pour wet into dry, stirring to combine. Pour batter into prepared dish and par bake for 12 minutes. Refrigerate overnight.
To make the Cream Cheese Filling:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Respray the sides of the pan with baking spray, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until well blended and lump free, about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Follow by adding vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pour cream cheese mixture over oatmeal bar layer, using an offset spatula to even out layer.
To make the Pecan Toffee Streusel:
  1. combine brown sugar, flour, oats, toffee, pecans, and salt in a medium bowl. Add in cubed butter. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend butter, creating a unified crumbly mixture. Dollop large crumbs of streusel evenly on top of cream cheese layer.
To Assemble the Autumn Everything Bars:
  1. Bake for 25 to 30 mixtures until cream cheese mixture looks mostly set. Cool for 2 hour, preferably overnight for easy cutting. When you're ready to serve, melt caramels with 2 to 3 tablespoons of whole milk, stirring in 20 second intervals until smooth and runny. Drizzle caramel onto bars. Lift foil out of pan, cut bars, and serve.
Bar base adapted from Cooks Illustrated, Filling and Topping adapted from Fall Baking
Recipe by Layer Cake Parade at