I’m kind of in a caramel apple mindset this autumn! I recently posted a recipe for Caramel Apple Oat Squares and now I have another caramel apple recipe to share. I think I like caramel apples so much because of the gooey, buttery caramel and crisp, slightly Continue reading
This is a good, easy cookie bar recipe that I’ve had for quite awhile! I think I originally found it in a magazine ad and then I came across it later at Kraft Recipes. This recipe uses a cake mix as part of the ingredients for the yummy chocolatey crust, so it’s simple to put together. I usually prefer making things from scratch, but sometimes a mix comes in handy if you’re in a time crunch. And these bars are so good you may not mind that they’re made with cake mix!
My version of these bars is a little different from the original recipe–I usually use pecans instead of walnuts (this time I used a little of both), dark chocolate chips instead of chocolate chunks, and regular chocolate cake mix instead of German chocolate. When you’re in the mood for a very chocolatey, chewy, caramel treat, this is a great recipe to try! Save some time by unwrapping the caramels ahead of time before you make these!
DARK CHOCOLATE CHIP CARAMEL NUT BARS by NancyC, adapted from Kraft Recipes
Makes a 13 x 9″ pan of bars
- 1 (11-ounce) bag Kraft caramels, unwraped
- 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk, divided
- 1 package (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix with pudding in the mix
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, divided (I used a mix of pecans and walnuts)
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap caramels and melt them with 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until caramels are completely melted. Remove from heat; set aside.
Mix remaining milk, dry cake mix and melted butter in a large bowl. Press half of the cake mixture firmly onto the bottom of a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan to form crust. Bake 8 minutes, then remove from oven.
Sprinkle 1 cup of the nuts and 3/4 cup of the dark chocolate chips over the crust. Drizzle evenly with melted caramel mixture. Top with teaspoonfuls of the remaining cake mixture; press gently into caramel mixture with back of spoon. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts and 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips.
Put back in the oven and bake an additional 16 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Note: if you want to eat these warm (they’d be great with some ice cream on top!) wait about 20 to 30 minutes before cutting them so they won’t be so gooey. For less gooey bars, wait about an hour before cutting them, when they’ve cooled more. Be sure not to wait more than a few hours before cutting them; if you do, they will be harder to cut since the caramel and bottom crust will harden some.
It may be a little tricky to get your first piece out of the pan without crumbling it a bit, but once that’s out, the rest of your bars should come out easily!
The combination of dark chocolate, nuts, and caramel is so good! What’s your favorite chocolate/caramel dessert?
I recently made some Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cup Crispy Treats and still had quite a bit of rice cereal left over, so I decided to try another kind of crispy treat. I love peanuts and caramel, especially together…so I tried a version using these ingredients. What can I say but “Yum”? If you like peanuts and caramel too, you’ll have to try these out!
PEANUT CARAMEL CRISPY TREATS by NancyC
Makes a 9×13″ pan
- 5 Tablespoons butter
- 1 (10-ounce) package marshmallows
- 5 cups crisp rice cereal
- 1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
- 1 (11-ounce bag) Kraft® Caramel Bits
Grease a 13 x 9″ pan; set aside.
Melt butter in large microwaveable bowl on high for 45 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows, tossing to coat. Microwave marshmallows 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 45 seconds.
Add crispy cereal to melted marshmallow mixture, then stir in nuts and caramel bits. The mixture will get sticky quickly, so you have to work fast!
Press mixture onto bottom of greased 13 x 9″ pan. (Because the mixture is so sticky, you may want to use some waxed paper to help press the mixture in the pan. I used the waxed paper wrapper from a stick of butter that still had a smidgen of butter on it, and that worked great!) Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Stovetop Directions: Melt butter in a 3-qt. saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until they are completely melted and mixture is well blended. Then follow the rest of the directions above, adding in the rice cereal, peanuts, and caramel bits.
Have you tried any unique add-ins for crispy treats?
Linked to Inspire Me Monday.
Like many of you, when I have bananas that are getting too ripe, I like to make banana bread–especially during the cooler months of fall and winter (in the summer I put the bananas in the freezer and use them for smoothies). A few days ago, I had some bananas that were really getting ripe. I’ve been having fun lately trying out different kinds of banana bread recipes, like Pumpkin Banana Bread, for example. So I thought I’d try another flavor and found a recipe for Caramel Toffee Banana Bread on a blog called Baking Junkie, which I modified by adding extra toffee bits, a caramel glaze, and even more toffee bits sprinkled on top (I also used caramel topping instead of caramel syrup). It was really yummy! Caramel and toffee are such great fall flavors, and it’s a delicious combination with bananas. This bread is very dense and moist, too. It’s great for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee, or even as a dessert at lunch or dinnertime. This recipe makes one 9×5″ loaf.
CARAMEL TOFFEE BANANA BREAD WITH CARAMEL GLAZE by NancyCreative, adapted from Baking Junkie
Makes a 9 x 5″ loaf
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated (white) sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup caramel topping (I used Smucker’s®; Hershey’s® is another good brand)
- 3/4 cup Heath® Bits ‘O Brickle Toffee Bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan (I forgot to flour my pan, and I did have some sticking on the bottom when taking the baked loaf out, so be sure to grease and flour your pan!).
In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar, then add eggs, mixing well. Add in sour cream or plain yogurt and blend well; set aside.
In medium bowl, blend flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add this dry mixture to the egg mixture and blend until ingredients are combined. Add in mashed bananas, caramel topping, and toffee chips and mix until well-blended.
Pour or spoon batter into your prepared 9×5″ loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (Note: the recipe I adapted had a baking time of 60 minutes, but mine took 70 minutes to bake). Let loaf cool in pan for 10-15 minutes; then remove from pan and cool completely before adding glaze.
- 1/4 cup caramel topping, heated
- 1/2 Tablespoon half & half
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Heath® Bits ‘O Brickle Toffee Bits (for sprinkling on top)
In small microwavable bowl, heat 1/4 cup caramel topping for about 20-30 seconds so it has a thinner consistency. Remove from microwave and stir in half & half, blending well. Add in powdered sugar and blend well. If you have lumps, put mixture back in microwave and heat 15-30 seconds more, then stir until lumps are gone. If you’d like the glaze to have a thinner consistency, add a little more caramel topping (heated up) to the mixture. Drizzle glaze with a spoon over your completely cooled loaf, then sprinkle with brickle bits. Let glaze set 10-15 minutes, or longer, before slicing.
Note: this glaze is “gooier” than the typical glaze, so if you are taking this to a potluck or meal outside of your home, consider adding the glaze on the bread when you get there or carry it in a container that won’t touch the glaze; if you try to wrap the glazed bread with plastic wrap, it will get sticky and messy. But the bread and glaze are so good, it’s worth the trouble! 🙂
Hope you get to try this out! Do you have a favorite banana bread recipe you like to make?
I hadn’t made brownies in awhile, and I wanted to make something different from the typical brownie. I pretty much love any kind of brownie, but it’s always nice to try something different. 🙂 So when I saw this recipe over at VeryBestBaking.com, I just had to try it! It was a finalist in the 2000 Share The Very Best Recipe Contest, and for good reason. This rich, decadent brownie has 3 yummy layers…(1) a brownie base, (2) a middle layer of vanilla-flavored chips, pecans, and caramel, and (3) a top brownie layer that also has semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed in. If that doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth or any chocolate craving you may have, I don’t know what will!
So here’s the recipe, along with some suggestions of mine on how you can modify it. This recipe calls for an 8″ square baking pan. I actually made it twice–the first time, in a 9×9″ pan (thinking it was an 8″ pan by mistake!) and then in an actual 8×8″ pan, to see if there was much difference in the appearance. With the 9×9″ pan, the brownies are thinner and the layers are not as apparent, but I actually liked the thinner brownies better. They are good either way, though, so you’ll just have to try them for yourself! The first two photos I’ve posted are of the thinner brownies, and the last photo is of the thicker version.
CHOCOLATE-CARAMEL LAYERED BROWNIES (Layers of Love Chocolate Brownies) slightly adapted from VeryBestBaking.com
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs (you’ll be using 2 for the first part of the recipe and 1 later)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans (or substitute walnuts)
- 3/4 cup vanilla-flavored chips (or substitute butterscotch or peanut butter chips)
- 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping (or substitute butterscotch or hot fudge topping)
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or substitute milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking cocoa, and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add in 2 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and blend well. Gradually beat in flour mixture from small bowl. You’ll have a pretty thick batter. Reserve 3/4 cup of this batter for your top layer. Spread the remaining batter on the bottom of your prepared 8″ baking pan. Sprinkle the pecans and vanilla chips over the batter, then drizzle the caramel topping over everything.
Beat the third egg into the remaining 3/4 cup batter until well blended. Fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Spread this mixture evenly over the caramel/pecan/vanilla chip layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack, then cut into bars.
Take a look at look at those vanilla chips and chocolate chips…yummm…
Here’s part of the batch I made in the 8×8″ pan…you can see that they’re a little thicker and the middle layer is thicker, too…
My friend and taste-tester Ann had a great idea for serving these as a fancy dessert–serve each brownie on an individual dessert plate and sprinkle additional chopped pecans and vanilla chips on top. Then lightly drizzle additional caramel topping over everything–doesn’t that sound great? Something else you could do is serve each brownie with a scoop of ice cream on top, sprinkle with chopped pecans and drizzle with caramel topping…there are so many ways you can enjoy these brownies! 🙂
Linked to Sunday Showcase, Sundae Scoop, Motivate Me Mondays, Made by You Mondays, Just Something I Whipped Up, Mouthwatering Mondays, Tasty Tuesday, Make It Yours Day, We Did It! Wednesday, Show and Tell, Strut Your Stuff, Foodie Friday, Favorite Things Friday, Favorite Things Saturday.