Friday, January 7, 2011

Caramel Chip Bars

A friend recently brought these to a dinner. I knew I had made them before, but had forgotten how wonderful they were. Before I left, I made sure I asked her for the recipe. She gave me kind of a funny look and asked me if I was sure. I asked her what she meant and she said, "Tracie, I am one hundred percent certain that you gave me this recipe!"

Thank goodness for community dinners :)

Melt 32 caramels, a stick of butter and a can of sweetened condensed milk on low heat. Stir this quite often and do not be tempted to up the heat. You have time. Be patient.
In between stirs, mix together a yellow cake mix with two eggs and a half cup applesauce. The recipe says half a cup of oil. You can use that or substitute any portion of the oil with applesauce. I went for 100% here and it worked great. Don't forget to stir your caramel.
Mix in every kind of chip you can find. Almost. Two cups of mini chocolate chips and one cup of vanilla chips. Also a chopped up Heath bar. I didn't have one, but I did have some left over toffee chips from when I made the incredible Toffee Rolls. ( my desire to reacquaint you these, I have discovered that I never posted them. I am SO SORRY. You will see why when I get them up.) Anyway, stir these all into your cake mix.

Go stir!
Spread about 3/4 of the dough into the bottom of a well greased pan and bake for about 15 minutes.
By now your caramel should be getting pretty close to completely melted. Remove it from the heat and let it cool a little bit. DO NOT taste test this. You will just keep coming back and "tasting" more. Before you know it, you will have to start over and make a new batch.
After the 15 minute cook time, let the almost cookies cool for at least 10 minutes. This is important or the soft, not quite done dough will scrunch up. Once it is not so squishy, spread the caramel mixture over the top of the dough.
Use a regular spoon to drop the remaining dough onto the top of the caramel. You want the drops pretty close together. Your goal is to have a fairly solid top with a bit of caramel peeking out at random spots.
Return to the oven for another 30 minutes.
Don't make these.

They are evil.

You have been warned.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Caramel Chip Bars
1/2 c butter
32 caramels
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 pkg (18 1/4 oz) yellow cake mix
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 c miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup vanilla or white chips
1 Heath candy bar (1.4 oz) chopped

In a large saucepan, combine the butter, caramels, and milk; cook and stir over medium low heat until smooth. Cool. In a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, oil, and eggs; mix well. Stir in chips and chopped candy bar (dough will be stiff). Press 3/4 into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 15 min. Place on a wire rack for 10 min.
Pour caramel mixture over the crust. Crumble remaining mixture onto caramel layer. Bake for 25-30 min or until edges are golden brown. Cool for 10 min; run a knife around edges of pan. Cool 40 minutes longer; cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

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