Thursday, March 5, 2009


Usually I post recipe stuff on my sister's blog, but decided that I'd stick this one here just for the fun of it.

Ryan and I tend to make the same few treats over and over again, only trying new things around the holidays. But the other day Ryan decided he wanted something new so I delved into the cookbooks to see what might catch my eye. This is the recipe I decided on, from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook:

Chocolate-Caramel Bars

1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla
20 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup milk or semisweet chocolate pieces

1. For crust, in a medium bowl stir together the flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 13x9 baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle pecans and coconut over hot crust.

2. For filling, combine sweetened condensed milk and vanilla; pour over pecans and coconut. Bake for 25-30 minutes more or until the filling is set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine caramels and milk. Cook and stir over medium-low heat just until caramels melt. Drizzle caramel mixture over filling. Sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Cool completely. Cut into bars.

I'm pretty certain this was the first time I've ever used sweetened condensed milk. I remember it being on the shelves at home growing up, but I can't ever recall using it for anything. What did you use it for, Mom?? These are delicious, but you definitely don't need more than one after a meal! The nuts, coconut, caramel, and chocolate make for one rich treat.

Another good snack to try is this one that we've been using in Nursery the past few weeks:

Pretzel sticks
Banana chips
Butterscotch chips

Just mix it all together in whatever quantities you desire. It's marvelous - I have a hard time not snitching some myself!