These are DELISH! Please notice my note halfway through the recipe – You’ll understand when you read it!
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pea-sized pieces, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (11-ounce) bag butterscotch chips
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Drape a 9 by 13-inch pan with overlapping pieces of aluminum foil, creating handles for easy removal. Butter the paper, and reserve.
In a food processor add the flour, oats and brown sugar and pulse to combine. Add the 2 sticks of butter, the cinnamon and the butterscotch chips. Pulse, pulse, pulse until the mixture forms clumps when pressed between your fingers. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer, reserve the other half. Bake in the preheated oven just until slightly golden and set, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Beat together the cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon zest and juice and vanilla in an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle, or with an electric hand mixer until no lumps of cream cheese remain.
Now if you are sometimes forgetful or just off your rocker like I am at times and completely forget to pick up some condensed milk – Just do what I did… improvise! I used what ever cream cheese I had left over in the fridge (about an additional 3/4 tub) and added a splash of milk to create some sort of cheesecake mixture. I still used the vanilla, and the lemon juice… and turned out great!
Ok back to the recipe…
Spread evenly over the baked and cooled oatmeal mixture. Sprinkle the remaining half of the oatmeal mixture over the cream cheese. Bake until the top is golden, about 40 minutes.
Cool and chill before cutting. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and using the foil handles, transfer the bars to a cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares with a sharp knife and serve.
Cook’s Note: For a delicious and healthy variation of this recipe, try replacing the butterscotch chips with tasty dried cranberries