"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Photo to be added soon :-)
Found this recipe on pintrest. My family is in love with it! These remind me of a caramel version of our much beloved "Fudge Nut Bars".  I have waited a long time to try this and it was well worth the wait.  You can see the original recipe on Averie Cooks below I listed the way I adapted it for a larger pan- we always need larger than an 8x8 for family dinners! This Quick and simple layered bar cookie.  The crust and topping are an sweet brown sugar, vanilla (heavy on the vanilla), oatmeal and flour mixture. The middle there's layers of rich chocolate and caramel sauce. This cookie is chewy and just oozing with caramel. We served it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and they are a match made in heaven.  Averie suggested that "You can add salt, to taste, to the caramel sauce for salted carmelitas" I chose to add a little kosher salt and loved it. You must let these bars set up for at least 4 hours before slicing or even overnight. I put mine in the fridge to help with the set up time too. These got rave reviews and 5 stars from all.

1  cup margarine, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cup whole-rolled old fashioned oats (not instant or quick cook)
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, optional and to taste
58 caramel squares, unwrapped (I used one bag Kraft caramels) 
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste, if you prefer salted caramel sauce
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 11.5 x 13.5-inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Lining your pan is highly recommended for ease of cleanup due to the stickiness of the caramel; set pan aside..
2 Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
3 Add the flour, oats, baking soda, optional pinch salt, and stir until combined. Mixture will be quite thick.
4 Add half of the mixture to the prepared pan (just eyeball it), and smooth it with spatula or the back of a spoon, to create an even, smooth, flat layer; set remainder aside.
5 Bake for 10 minutes. While it bakes, make the caramel sauce.
6 In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl or in a sauce pan. For the microwave: combine the caramels, cream, and heat on high power in 60-second bursts to melt caramels, stirring after each burst. It will likely take about 4 to 5 minutes total to melt; heat until mixture can be stirred smooth. Alternatively, combine caramels and cream in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat to melt, stirring nearly continuously, until mixture can be stirred smooth.
7 Optionally stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste, for salted caramel sauce; set sauce aside.
8 After 10 minutes, remove pan from the oven and evenly sprinkle with the chocolate.
9 Slowly and evenly pour caramel sauce over the chocolate.
10 Evenly crumble reserved oatmeal-brown sugar mixture over the top.
11 Return pan to oven and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes (I baked 16 1/2), or until edges are lightly browned and center is bubbling slightly.
12 Allow bars to cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving, giving the molten caramel time to firm up. This can take up to 4 hours, or overnight, at room temperature. You can speed it up by placing pan in fridge with a sheet of foil over the top to prevent fridge smells. If you don't wait for bars to cool completely, they'll be a literal hot mess. They'll taste fine (don't burn yourself), but they won't slice neatly with clean cuts. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.