Chocolate chip oatmeal dulce de leche cookie

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Dulce de Leche Bars

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookie base and top with a gooey layer of Dulce de Leche in the middle! The perfect finishing touch is a good dose of sea salt on top!

These cookie bars are gooey, and rich, and absolutely delicious!

A good oatmeal cookie is hard to beat. It is one of my favorite types of cookies! I don’t make them often because I just can’t resist them!

Usually, my oatmeal cookies are chock full of dried fruit and sometimes nuts. I love the hearty texture in a bountiful oatmeal cookie!

But sometimes I have to veer away from the ‘healthy’ cookie and add some chocolate.

Then a craving for Dulce de Leche hits and I have to add that too.

Today was one of those days!

Chocolate chips in an oatmeal base, with a dulce de leche filling

Oatmeal Cookie base

When I decided to make a cookie bar, I knew I needed a base that would hold up and provide a sturdy base for a gooey feeling.

This oatmeal cookie is perfect for that! The oatmeal provides just a little bit of chewiness which is the perfect contrast to the soft, gooey center.

Adding chocolate instead of the usual dried fruit turns this oatmeal cookie into a sinfully delicious indulgence.

Allowing these cookie bars to cool completely is essential if you want to be able to cut bars that hold their shape.

Waiting for them to cool is a completely different matter! You may want to just dig right in while still warm – and I wouldn’t blame you!

If this pan of deliciousness is just for you and your family, take a bite while it is still warm. The dulce de leche in the center mixes with the melted chocolate and the only bad thing about it is that you may not be able to stop at one bite….or two or three!

Chocolate, dulce de leche and oatmeal cookie

Dulce de Leche filling in these Oatmeal Cookie Bars

If you don’t know what dulce de leche is, I really hope you either make some or buy some now to rectify the situation!

I always have several cans of Nestle Dulce de Leche in my pantry.

Dulce de leche is sweetened condensed milk that has been caramelized. It’s easy to make but sometimes I just can’t wait so the premade stuff is perfect to have on hand!

Chocolate chips, dulce de leche and oatmeal cookie bar

How to make dulce de leche at home

There are three ways to make dulce de leche at home. Choose which one suits your needs, comfort level and time line!

  • The Classic method:
    • Stir together 4 cups milk, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in a 4-quart heavy saucepan.
    • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and thickened. This should take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
    • After the first hour, stir the mixture more often to avoid burning. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
    • Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
  • The Oven Method with Sweetened Condensed Milk:
    • Heat your oven to 425°F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Pour the contents of one 14-ounce- can Sweetened Condensed Milk into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate and cover tightly with foil.
    • Set the pie plate in a roasting pan and add enough hot water to the pan to reach halfway up the pie plate. (This is a water bath, which will provide even and gentle heat distribution.)
    • Bake the sweetened condensed milk in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes. Check the water level and add additional water if necessary. Continue to bake for 45 minutes more, or until the sweetened condensed milk is thick and brown. Remove the pie plate from the water bath and cool, uncovered.
    • Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
  • The Canned Method
    • Peel the label off the can of sweetened condensed milk and place it in a ddep pot saucepan. Cover it with water, making sure that there is 1 to 2 inches of water ABOVE the top of the can. Bring the water to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to LOW, so that the water has a slow simmer. It is best to use cans with solid lids (without tabs) .
    • It is very important to watch the water level and add water if the level looks like it will fall below the top of the cans. The cans should remain completely submerged at all times!
    • Simmer the can for 2 to 2 1/2 hours for a lighter colored dulce de leche. Simmer it for 3 1/2 hours for a deeper color and flavor. Using tongs, you should VERY CAREFULLY turn over the cans halfway through the simmering process. DO NOT lift out of the water!
    • After the simmering time has elapsed, turn off the heat and allow the cans to cool to room temperature in the water. Do not open the cans while they are still hot! Let them cool completely before opening.
    • Open the cans, stir the dulce de leche, transfer it to mason jars, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Making Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars

These cookie bars couldn’t be easier to put together!

I use a stand mixer to cream the butter and sugars but you can also use a hand mixer if that is what you have.

My oatmeal cookie recipe provides the base for these cookies bars. It comes together in two bowls – one for the wet ingredients and one for the dry.

Start with creaming your butter and both of the sugars.

To read more about why the creaming method is important, take a look at my post that talks all about the hows and whys of creaming!

Add the vanilla for a bit of flavor boost.

Next, add your eggs one at a time. Mix after each addition. This slow addition of eggs helps to maintain the emulsion that was created in the creaming step.

In a separate bowl, mix together your dry ingredients. Give them a good whisk to ensure that the salt and rising agent is evenly distributed!

Now add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until no white streaks of flour remain.

Stir in half of the chocolate chips and spread 2/3 of the mixture evenly into the bottom of a lined pan.

Choosing pan size

You can make these in a 9×13 pan and the bars will be thinner and bake quicker.

I chose to use my Fat Daddio’s 7×11 pan so that my bars were a little thicker and more gooey in the center.

Now grab your dulce de leche. Spread it on the layer of cookie dough and make sure that it is evenly distributed.

**At this point, you may want to add some optional ingredients. I LOVE to add some shredded coconut and chopped nuts to this bake! Sprinkle them over the dulce de leche before adding the rest of the cookie dough! I did not add any additional mix-ins to my batch today because I just felt like a purist.

Chocolate and dulce de leche…that’s all I needed today!

Using your hands, break up the remaining cookie dough and drop on top of the dulce de leche. Gently spread the cookie dough out so the cookie dough covers the dulce de leche layer completely.


Sprinkle on a liberal amount of sea salt!

The sea salt cuts through the sweetness and perfectly compliments the chocolate. PLEASE do not skip this step!

Now go make some of these Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars!

Share them if you want. But I won’t judge you if you hide a few for yourself!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Dulce de Leche Bars

Recipe by Tanya OttCourse: DessertCuisine: GeneralDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookie base and top with a gooey layer of Dulce de Leche in the middle! The perfect finishing touch is a good dose of sea salt on top!


  • 226 grams (1 cup=2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 150 grams brown sugar

  • 150 grams granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs, at room temperature

  • 250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

  • 2 cups chocolate chips, divided

  • 1 can (13.4 ounce) dulce de leche

  • Sea Salt, for sprinkling

  • Other toppings, as desired, such as coconut, peanuts, cashews, optional


  • Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C. Line a 7×11 pan (for thicker bars) or 9×13 pan (for thinner bars) with parchment paper, allowing some paper to hang over the side creating a sling. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat briefly. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape bottom and sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the oats. With the mixer on medium-low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until the dough comes together. Using a small spatula, stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
  • Spread 2/3 of the cookie dough in an even layer in the pan. Spread the dulce de leche on top of the cookie dough in an even layer. Put the remaining cookie dough on top of the dulce de leche and gently spread out with your fingers in an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan completely. Once cooled, remove from the pan using the parchment paper sling. Cut into bars. Store at room temperature or refrigerate to firm them up but I recommend you bring them to room temperature before serving.

One Comment

  1. I was really hoping you would blog on this, I might make it for this week’s donations, but if not, it goes next week for sure (I just need to consider the dulce de leche situation)

    looks just amazing, I know it would be appreciated!

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