Sunday, August 24, 2014

Almond Joy Caramel Bars


I'm so excited to share this recipe with you because it is a rare one where through the process, it evolved from something already very good to utterly amazing!

While baking last week, early one more whilst the kids were still asleep, I found myself short on butter.

Yep, you can see in the picture below there is hardly enough there to make anything tasty.

So, after all of the hullabaloo about coconut oil, I decided that I would try using that in the recipe in place of the butter I was short.

Not only is it good for you, it has similar properties to butter, as it is solidifies when chilled, as opposed to so many other oils which may get cloudy, but won't solidify.  So, I thought, what the heck!?!

Little did I know, these caramel bars would take on a whole new dimension with this awesome hint of coconut.

Let me present to you Almond Joy Caramel Bars.


These are the ingredients that I gathered from my pantry before starting the bars.  One last minute addition was some cocoa powder.  


Into a mixing bowl the following ingredients were measured and combined…1 cup flour, 1 cup oatmeal, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt


Approximately 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup coconut oil were measured. 

Since there are not quite as many solids in coconut oil as butter, I did cut back on the total amount or the baked goods would not have the right texture. 


Mix the butter/coconut oil blend with the dry ingredients until the fats are fully dispersed 
and the mix is crumbly. 


Scoop 2 cups of the mixture into a sprayed 9x13 pan.


Pat the mixture to form a crust.
Then, pop it into a 350F oven for 8 minutes. 


While the first layer of bars are baking, 
melt the 1 1/2 cups (11 oz bag) of caramels along with 
1/3 cup whole milk over medium low to low heat.  


Stir the caramels often and be patient as scorched caramel will be brittle when cooled

This is by far the most tedious part.  


When completely melted, pour the caramel over the baked bottom portion
and sprinkle with 1 cup chocolate chips


Sprinkle the remaining dry mix over the caramel and gently pat down. 
Return to the oven to bake for 12 minutes. 


Cut the bars while they are still warm. 

Now, hide them unless you want them devoured immediately!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups (11 oz bag) of caramels
1/3 cup whole milk 
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. 
Measure first 6 ingredients into mixing bowl. 
Mix in the butter and coconut oil. 
Once will combined, add 2 cups of mix to sprayed 9x13 pan. 
Press down and bake for 8 minutes.
Melt caramels and whole milk over low heat. 
Pour over baked bars and sprinkle with chocolate chips before topping with remaining mix.
Pat down the topping and bake for additional 12 minutes. 
Cut while warm. 

**See how long you can make them last.**