You know how someone will make a dish and bring it to an event where everyone raves about it? A woman at Mister Man’s school brought this dish to our teacher appreciation luncheon this fall, and they were great. Somehow, there were two small bars left at the end of the luncheon (probably because we had food for 80 and only 60 people), and since I was helping to clean up I offered to bring those orphans home with me.
I promised the wee ones that they could each have one after dinner, as they immediately began begging for a taste once they saw them sitting on the island. Unfortunately, my dad came over, saw them, and ate them before I could tell them I was saving them for the wee ones. Oops. To say Mister Man was devastated was an understatement.
I got the recipe from the woman who brought them as quickly as I possibly could, and life is once again good. And they are now on our regular rotation. Yum!
Chocolate Caramel Bars
4 sticks unsalted butter, cold
2 1/4 c flour
2 c oats
2 1/4 c brown sugar, packed
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c chopped pecans
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, oats, 1 1/2 c brown sugar, salt and
baking soda. Cut in 3 sticks of the butter until mixture is crumbly.
Press half of crumb mixture into 9×13 inch pan. Reserve remaining
crumb mixture for topping. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven.
While the crumb mixture is baking, make the caramel. Melt 1 stick (8 T) of butter in a heavy saucepan. Add 3/4 c brown sugar and the can of sweetened condensed milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to a simmer stirring regularly. Simmer for 7-10 minutes, then remove from the heat. Add 1/4 c flour to the caramel and whisk until smooth.
Remove crust from oven. Immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips
and pecans. Drizzle caramel sauce over chips and nuts. Sprinkle
remaining crumb mixture evenly on top.
Return pan to oven and bake 18-20 minutes more, until crumbs are
light golden brown. Remove pan from oven and cool for 2 hours. Cut into small squares.