Cookie bars fit for hungry fishermen

Laurie Olsen makes these decadent bars for her fisherman husband and crew aboard the St. John II.

Food forum

While I was reporting for Sea to Table, our story about a fourth-generation fishing family in Snohomish, I tried the most divine cookie bars.

Let me back up: Laurie Olsen, the wife of skipper Gary Olsen and owner of You Are What You Eat Fish Company, makes a ton of desserts for the crew aboard the St. John II. It’s nice to have a sweet bite of home when you’re pulling thousands of halibut, black cod and other fish from the waters around the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

“Back when I lived in Alaska the fishermen would ask me to make these bars for them before they went out fishing,” Laurie wrote to me. “They tried to convince me they were good luck.”

Her oatmeal carmelitas are layered with chocolate chips, pecan, caramel and a brown sugar oatmeal crumble.

“I have made huge batches of this recipe,” Laurie wrote. “Wherever I bring these bars, everyone asks for the recipe.”

Boy are we in luck, because we have secured Laurie’s recipe. Make this for your next fishing trip, potluck or cozy night inside.

Oatmeal Carmelitas

1 cup flour

1 cup oatmeal

¾ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup butter melted

1 cup chocolate chips

½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

¾ cup caramel ice cream topping

3 tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and melted butter. Mix to form crumbs.

Press half the crumb mixture into the bottom of 8 x 8-inch pan.

Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and pecans (if using).

Combine caramel with 3 tablespoons of flour, then pour mix over chocolate evenly, in a back-and-forth motion.

Sprinkle with remaining crumbs, return to oven, then bake 15 to 20 minutes more until golden brown.

Chill for 1 to 2 hours then cut into bars.

These bars can be made in advance and stored immediately in the freezer.

Help keep The Forum going by sending your favorite recipes to Taylor Goebel at taylor.goebel@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Food & Drink

Daily Herald food, drink and restaurant reporter Taylor Goebel.
Our food writer bids farewell

Taylor Goebel shares news of her departure, as well as her favorite moments as The Herald’s food & drink reporter.

Food forum
Baked pumpkin is a velvety winter treat, as a side or a main

Pecans, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter liven up roasted pumpkin and other winter squashes.

The crab doughnut at Market in Edmonds is a strange delight, with a sweet and dense glazed doughnut topped with bright and briny dungeness crab salad, nutty browned butter and a shower of smoky bacon bits. (Taylor Goebel / The Herald)
This idyllic dining destination is right in Snohomish County

Edmonds boasts fresh seafood, Caribbean-inspired sandwiches, artisan breads, cocktails and more.

Food forum
Too many Thanksgiving leftovers? Make turkey “glop”

Our reader adapted this turkey casserole from an old Betty Crocker recipe.

Rachael Grace Sobczak, owner of Water Tank Bakery, is sharing her recipe for Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Bars Burlington, Washington on October 10, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Signature Dish: Give thanks for dulce de leche pumpkin bars

A Burlington baker shares her recipe for the triple-threat treat using Washington-milled flour.

Della Terra, a Snohomish farm-to-table catering business, is offering a full Thanksgiving meal with hearty Pacific Northwest entrees, seasonal sides and a farmers market salad. (Joanna Monger Photography)
Thanksgiving Day: Snohomish County restaurants open for dine-in or takeout

These Snohomish County restaurants are offering Thanksgiving meals for dine-in or takeout.

Food forum
Easy holiday cranberry cake with hot butter sauce

This tart yet buttery cake is the perfect solution to excess cranberries this holiday season.

A pint of In the Shadows’ HBL — Honey Basil Lemon — blonde ale, which took home a bronze medal in the 2022 Washington Beer Awards. (Aaron Swaney)
Tiny but mighty: These Snohomish County breweries won big at Washington Beer Awards

Check out this year’s Washington Beer Awards winners from Snohomish County.

A quarter of a smoked chicken at The Kitchen at Quil Ceda Creek Casino, with classic barbecue sides.
Smoked chicken’s barbecue flavors dazzle on rainy fall days

You can smoke the bird like they do at Quil Ceda Creek Casino, or prepare it in a conventional oven.

The veggie tofu pho at Phở Thanh Na in Monroe is chock-full of tender-crisp broccoli and carrots, bright aromatics and a light, flavorful broth that acts as a canvas for fresh bean sprouts, herbs, lime, chili oil and sriracha. (Taylor Goebel / The Herald)
Good soup: Where to find chowder, pho and more belly-warming bowls

These Snohomish County eateries are the perfect soup stops on a cold fall (or winter) day.

Pot and sweet pies await customers at the newly opened Pie Dive Bar in Snohomish, Washington on May 17, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Order your Thanksgiving pie ASAP from these Snohomish County bakeries

It’s already time to get your Thanksgiving dessert orders in.

Food forum
Warm up with pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Together with the wind and rain, these cookies are a sure sign fall has arrived.