Sunday, April 5, 2015

Caramel + Chocolate

When I was growing up, I remember my mom baking a lot. It was usually the staples - chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies, brownies, etc. But every once in a while she would make these caramel bars that were heavenly. Since I have braces, I have to stay away from everything that is good, like caramels. These bars, however, are so smooth and gooey that I knew I could get away with eating them.

What you're going to need:
40-50 caramels
1/3 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 cups oats
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda*
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup softened margarine (or unsalted butter)
1 pkg 6oz chocolate chips

*My sister sent me the recipe my mother copied down for her. It said "1 tsp soda" & I asked what type of soda I should use (thinking it meant Coke or Pepsi). So, that's good.

The first step is to unwrap all of those caramels. I just sat and watched some Netflix & threw them in the bowl as I unwraped. It's a huge pain, but the outcome is worth it.

Gaston watched.
Next, warm the caramels and milk on low setting in the microwave, stirring often, until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, salt, and egg. Mix in butter with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly.

Then, press half of the mixture into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

 Take out and sprinkle chocolate chips over the oat crust & drizzle with caramel sauce.

Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool for 30 minutes, loosen the edges, then cool completely before cutting and removing.

I was doing a happy dance when they came out of the oven. My home smelled like the perfect mixture of oat, caramel, and chocolate & I just couldn't wait to dig in. So, you know, I didn't wait.

I probably should have waited like the directions said (always listen to your mother) but patience isn't something I have ever been good at. They definitely crumbled all over the place but I only used the nice looking ones for pictures. But seriously, delicious.

Pro tip: Once cooled, wrap in a damp paper towel to get the to the gooey deliciousness again & top with icecream! Works when they are a few days old too!

Now, you'll see me post baking posts from time to time but April is all about learning to sew. I'm going to job on the machine & figure some stuff out and hopefully get it working! This coming weekend, I'll be in Savannah for a bachelor party, so expect a post the following Monday or Tuesday!

Happy Easter!

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