Sunday, August 28, 2011

Caramel/Chocolate Chip Bars. Hear Me Drool.

I am a happy girl today. For a number of reasons, and not forgetting the fact my husband miraculously salvaged my camera from being tossed into the bin.. it's up and running now like new. Ahh! Sunday miracles are great.

Among the other reasons for my state of rapturous happiness today are these ooey, gooey, sinfully repressive, utterly intoxicating bars that I've been picking at all.Day.Long. We took them with us to a church social but I left behind many remnants in my 9 x 13 glass dish to stealthily eat throughout my Sunday. You know - each baker has to stash some leftovers of the desserts behind in order to enjoy it too for later. Selfish? Yes. Deserved though? Eahhh...yeah.

The thanks for this recipe discovery definitely goes out to my friend Liz McDo (abbreviated), and her husband for introducing these to us about a month ago. I've made them twice since then for groups of people and let me tell you people, your audience will go bananas for them. Nuts! Something about the brown-sugary crust and topping, sandwiching the caramel and chocolate layers..... there is something for everyone in this dessert, and are one of the more memorable cookies/bars I've had in a while. It's like biting into a dessert you expect to eat when you go home to visit your family- something that is comforting, inviting, warm, somewhat-predictable, but filled with pure pleasure.

My friend used a recipe on the internet, but I found one in a cookbook of mine, so here it is. The only two things I would altar next time using this recipe is to increase the oatmeal crust (so, 1 1/2 times it) and then to DOUBLE the caramel layer- I just didn't think the caramel was thick enough and was blatantly eclipsed by the strong chocolate chip presence. Not a bad thing if you are a caramel foe, but I like equal representation from each.

Otherwise, delicious!

BFF Caramel Bars

{Keeping Up Cookbook}

3/4 cup butter (the more the better!)

¾ cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 cup oats

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

(Again, I would maybe consider increasing this by another half)

-Mix butter, brown sugar, oats, soda, and salt. Press ¾ of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 15 or so minutes (just until it’s barely light golden brown).

1 (14-ounce) package of KRAFT caramels, unwrapped (beware- the generic packages are typically only 11 or 12 ounces)

3 TBSP cream (because cream makes everything better)
3 TBSP butter (so does butta’)
2 cups milk chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet…. )

(Again, I would also maybe consider doubling the caramel/cream/butter mixture- it just seemed like an awfully unfair dominion on the chocolate chips’ part, but follow your heart)

-While crust is baking, melt the caramels, cream, and butter over low heat in a double broiler (a bowl set on top of boiling water, aka)… and try as hard as possible to have patience for the caramels to take their sweet time melting. Pour melted mixture over the baked crust and sprinkle with chocolate chips- then crumble the oat mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees (yes, again) for an additional 15 minutes, or listen to intuition to tell you when it’s done. Let these cool completely before slicing. Slice, serve, and watch them disappear into thin air! Yum.

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