Oatmeal Butterscotch and Pecan Praline Bars

In light of the Mardi Gras holiday and my recent trip to New Orleans, I thought it would only be appropriate to bake something today. I was inspired to recreate a classic Southern sweet that I saw all over the French Quarter during my visit: Pralines. 

The creamy pralines adorn all the shops of the Crescent City and if you pop your head into a few boutiques along the French Quarter, you might get to sample the dreamy sweet. 

I decided to combine this beloved New Orleans treasure with a cookie of my own. Mingling the decadent butterscotch morsels and savory pecan pralines, I ended up with a luscious Mardi Gras indulgence.

Because the praline has a soft fudge-like texture, I figured that the best result would be to have the praline on top of the cookie. I considered crumbling up the pralines and mixing them into the dough, but that would be defeating the purpose of the velvety soft treat. 

Instead of making cookies, I decided to bake the dough in a pan and then slice them into bars. After the pan cookie was finished baking, I took my pecan praline mixture and softly layered the pralines on top of the baked cookie. After letting the pralines harden, I took a knife and carefully sliced the pan cookie into bars. The result? A warm and gooey butterscotch bar with a delectable Southern sweet on top. Enjoy! 

Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars 

(adapted from Nestlé Toll House)

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 1 11-oz. package of Nestlé Toll House Butterscotch Flavored Morsels 

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and butterscotch morsels.

 In a 9 x 13 or 10 x 15 greased pan, spread dough into pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool and set aside. 

Pecan Pralines

  • 2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 2 cups brown sugar 
  • 1 cup evaporated milk 
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves 

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, brown sugar and evaporated milk on medium heat. Using a candy thermometer, stir until the mixture reaches 230˚F or comes to a gentle boil. 

When the thermometer reaches the temperature, remove the saucepan and place in a pan with cold water to cool the pan.

Once the praline mixture cools, stir in the pecans. 

When the cookie pan has cooled, pour the pecan praline mixture over the baked cookie pan. 

Once the pecan pralines have hardened onto the cookie, slice gently into bars. Place your Southern delicacies on a plate and watch them go!