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Caramel Chip Bars



Ingredients



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This recipe was my contribution for a potluck party yesterday. I hadn’t baked in a month, and had my heart set on making this after my hiatus, LOL. I bought all the ingredients last Wednesday. Maybe going to 3 stores to find a Heath bar should have been my clue that I was gonna be put through the wringer. I made this Saturday night and it was a near-disaster. First off, opening 32 caramel wrappers is NOT my idea of fun. 10, 16 maybe, but 32? It got tedious after 20.

The first step is heating up the butter, caramels and condensed milk until it’s all smooth. Easy enough, right? Wrong! I thought I was paying attention (because I hate do-overs). About a fifth of the caramels got scorched. Scorched as in black. Grrrrr! How does something in liquid even burn like that? I transferred the globs of caramels to a plate and used a fork to scrape off the burnt areas. Caramel is a sticky substance, so trying to peel off a part of its structure is no pleasant feat.

I took all the remaining caramels in the bag (about a dozen or so) and started unwrapping ’em. Fun fun fun. This time I heated the pan for about a minute, then stirred until it was all smooth. The rest of the process went off without a hitch, thank goodness, until………….

It took foreeeeeeeeever to bake. I did the toothpick test over and over again every 5 minutes after what the recipe calls for, and it still wasn’t ready. By the time it was done, I was sooo through. I didn’t even want to look at it (which is so unlike me). About an hour and a half later, I did cut a small piece to try it (I had already figured I was going to have to bake something else before the night was over). It was hard, nowhere close to chewy; not a good sign. I was spent. After all that, I resigned to buying a dessert.

The next morning, I tried a small piece again. Guess what? It was soft. WTH?

I could taste how rich it was–thanks to the caramel–and cut ’em into small (2-inch) squares.

The verdict was a few people asked what it was and said it was good. Redemption! It won’t be in the near future, but this will definitely be a do-over. If you’re like me, I need to feel the warm fuzzies about a recipe before I add it to my personal collection.

Recipe
Caramel Chip Bars
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 32 caramels
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup vanilla or white chips
  • 1 Heath candy bar (1.4 ounces), chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the butter, caramels and milk; cook and stir over medium-low heat until smooth. Cool.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, oil and eggs until blended. Stir in chips and chopped candy bar (dough will be stiff).
  3. Press three-fourths into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° F for 15 minutes. Place on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour caramel mixture over the crust. Drop remaining dough by spoonfuls onto caramel layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes longer or until edges are golden brown.
  5. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes; run a knife around edges of pan. Cool 40 minutes longer; cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Yield: 2 dozen

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