Caramel Bars (With Money Shot)

I love to bake. I love to eat baked goods. I shouldn’t eat an abundance of baked goods. So, I take advantage of baking for others. We had a wrestling banquet a bit ago, and along with a big batch of cookies (I make them every year), I decided to try a new recipe. I went to one of my favorite recipe sites (AllRecipes.com) and found these: Caramel Bars. The bars had good reviews, easy enough to make, and sounded delicious. I dove into my day of baking with gusto. There’s nothing like warming the house with time spent creating deliciousness in the kitchen (this was back in February, so the days were still cool).

I took pictures.

The cookie dough I made the day before and let it marinate in its own goodness overnight, ready for baking the next day.

Talk to me about not eating raw cookie dough.

Ready for oven-lovin’…

A couple batches down (and many more to go).

Caramel bars. I doubled the recipe and made them on a large sheet pan.

Wheezy was playing outside, but came in hoping for a nibble.

And the Money Shot. See, I’m from a time when blogging was blogging (or journaling), and pictures were snapped, rarely edited; raw. Real. Sometimes you got lucky and your photo turned out pretty smooth, but mostly, it was just a simple picture. Now, visit (some of the most popular) blog sites and the pictures look professional, photo-shopped, glossed, and blurred. No child has faulty hair or skin, no food tainted by an unsightly scorch. I hate it. I prefer the ugly blog, the less-than-perfect pictures, the blog that feels like I fell upon an open journal, blemishes and all. I know, with the ease of digital dumping, and fancy cameras, it is almost impossible to take a bad shot. But I also know they are still out there.

This is semi-jokingly taken. It’s a decent shot, but the layers of mini waxed paper separating each bar is a copycat of the gazillion photos out there of sweet treats that just happen to be adorned with fancy papers, ribbons and glitter, all appearing to have fallen out of the oven along with the food. I wasn’t energetic enough to add colors, balloons, glitter and an adorable child with manicured hands, smiling in the background. But picture it in your head, mmmkay?

They didn’t really cut so well, so we had a few “rejects” to munch on. More than a few.

Recipe for Caramel Bars:

Ingredients

  • 32 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted butter until well blended. Press Half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan. Reserve the rest.
  3. Bake the crust for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the caramel mixture over the top and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over everything.
  4. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted. Cut into squares while it is still warm.

Link: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/caramel-bars/Detail.aspx

Notes: Someone mentioned doubling  the oat part. I did that. I lined with foil and didn’t bother cutting until cool.

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