Caramel Bars

I’m getting sick of these ingredient pictures. They are boring. I’m taking a break from these for a while.

Perhaps you’ve already gathered this from the photo below…but this is the easiest recipe ever.

There are only 5 Ingredients needed to make these gooey caramel bars.

One of my favorite memories from growing up in my quasi-Martha Stewart (minus the crazy) home, was the constant smell of something baking.

It was normal to come home and have the house smelling like brownies, cookies or a cheesecake. My mother was always baking for our family as well as others. She made desserts for a local restaurant, so we were used to the smell of a cheesecake or torte wafting through the air.

My brother and I were not obese. How? I’m not quite sure.

May have something to do with the fact that we were forced to eat our fruits and vegetables. Whether that meant sitting at the table all night long, chewing carrots all the way to the game, or trying to “hide” peas in a glass of milk (all of these things were done by my brother. If you know him you are not surprised).

But no matter what baking mom had for work, she always made sure to have some cookies or bars for the fam.

Now you know where I discovered my love for baking! Thanks, Madge.

So without further ado, here are my favorite childhood caramel bars.

Oh! Wait! (side note: These are actually called turtle bars, but my brother and I were picky little devils so my mom kept out the nuts. Feel free to include walnuts or pecans in your dough if you so desire! I still don’t like nuts in my dessert. Ew. Also, I would be lying if I did not tell you that these bars are tied in first with my other favorite “Dream Bars”, which I will share with you eventually).

So you start out with about 30 Kraft caramels, and some sweetened condensed milk.

Then you are going to put this in a double boiler…

Wow…that’s a lot of melted sugar…

Next, melt together the butter and more of that sweetened condensed milk…

Then add that to the bag of cake mix.

Once it’s all mixed together…

Use half the dough and cover the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

Throw that in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.

Then pull it out and sprinkle the hot crust with chocolate chips. 

And cover that with the melted caramel sauce.

Then use the rest of the dough and crumble that across the caramel to cover it as best you can. You don’t have to press it down to completely cover everything. That way you can see the caramel after it bakes.

Suddenly these pictures went from looking like caramel deliciousness…to looking like ground beef and nacho cheese…ewwww.

I am getting a better camera soon. I’m sorry if this grosses you out…

Bake this about 15-25 minutes. I take them out early so they’re extra gooey.

Donezo. 

So rich. So gooey. So easy.

Recipe:  Caramel Bars

1 box (18.5 Ounce) German Chocolate Cake Mix

1/3 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 cups Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 cups Butter, Melted

30-40 Caramels, Unwrapped

1/3 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt together 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk, and butter.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix with melted butter/sweetened condensed milk mixture.  Stir together until totally combined. Mixture will be very thick.

Press half the mixture into a well-greased 9 x13 baking pan. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.

In a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water) melt caramels with additional 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk.

Sprinkle chocolate chips as evenly as you can over baked dough. Then pour melted caramel mixture over the chocolate chips.

Use remaining dough and sprinkle that (somewhat) evenly over the chocolate chips and caramel mixture.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Let cool, slice and serve.

Finally, I have to point out that I did NOT copy The Pioneer Woman.

Yes, she is one of my role models. However our recipes are different and it is just a twist of fate that we made pretty much the same bars in the same week. I hope that means we alike…

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