Rolo Cake Bars

My favorite combination is caramel and chocolate. Rich sweet chocolate and gooey caramel is pretty darn close to a slice of heaven in my book.  When I saw this recipe for Rolo Cake Bars, I knew there was a batch in my very near future. But, I couldn’t just make a pan of them to have around given my addiction to all things caramel and chocolate. Lucky for me, I had some trees removed today and had three burly lumberjack type men around to help me plow thru these bars.

This recipe has one tricky part. It comes when you are at the store (or in your pantry) getting your ingredients. All cake mixes are not the same. I know these look like they’d both work, but they wont.

Check the ounces on the box. You want the big one. 18.25oz. Accept no other.

The dry mix, melted butter and evaporated milk get combined together and half is pressed into a pan. My dough was very sticky so I used an offset spatula to get it mostly flattened into the pan. Don’t worry if your dough isn’t completely firm. They still bake up beautifully.

While the crust cooks up a bit – we get to hang with some Rolos.

Mmmmmm. Caramel. Cut them in half.

When the crust comes out of the oven, place the Rolos caramel side down on top. Can I just say that the smell of warm cake batter hitting the chocolate was almost too much for me. I was tempted to just scoop it out of the pan and shovel it into my mouth.

Then dollup the remaining batter on top.

Bake until golden. Attempt to keep your mitts off it and let it cool. Then cut into squares.

Sweet light cake mixed with decadent rich caramel and chocolate. Oh baby.

Seriously. Oozing Rolo goodness. A riot of amazingness.

I don’t think four ingredients could get better than this.

Rolo Cake Bars
adapted from Cookies and Cups

  • 1 box (18.25 oz) yellow, vanilla or white cake mix, dry
  • 5 oz evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 40 Rolo Candies, unwrapped and cut in half

How to Make

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  3. With your mixer, beat cake mix, evaporated milk and butter until combined. Mixture will be thick and sticky.
  4. Divide batter in half and press 1 half into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Bake until just set, approximately 8-9 minutes.
  6. Remove base from oven and place Rolo candies, caramel-side down on top.
  7. Drop remaining batter on top of Rolos in teaspoon sized amounts.
  8. Bake for 24-26 minutes longer until top begins to golden.
  9. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars

You are going to hate me for giving you this recipe. Either that, or you’ll want to erect a monument in your town square. Possibly to me. More likely to these peanut butter bars. They are amazing. In every way. Totally easy. 5 minutes into the pan, no baking easy. Sinfully delicious. I am not kidding. I want to eat the entire batch and I’m normally not really a peanut butter/chocolate girl.  I know. I’m crazy. I must have been dropped on my head as a child or something. It’s a flaw. I’m sorry. Does it help that I loooooooove these?
[Read more…]

Samoas Bars

Girl Scouts, and their cookies are evil. Little girls in little outfits, their adorable patches and vests and all those delightful rectangular boxes of deliciousness. Eager smiles and bright eyes saying “Would you like to buy some cookies?”. I managed to avoid them this year. I hid my face, pretended to be deaf, did all I could to find an entrance not blocked by a table loaded with treats. Why did I do that? Now they are all gone. And I don’t have any boxes stashed in my freezer. Woe is me! Whatever will I do? (breathe Tonya, just breathe) Ok. I found this idea for homemade Samoas Bars and knew I’d found a perfect solution. Shortbread base, topped with caramel coconut and a drizzle of chocolate. All the awesomeness of my favorite Girl Scout treat, and from my own oven. Hooray! Oh joy! Rapture! [Read more…]

Mountain Bar Bars

I love “No Bakes”, or as my family calls them, Mountain Bars. We call them that because they look like the local confection by Brown and Haley (better known as the makers of Almond Roca). Peanut butter, chocolate, oatmeal — yuuuumy! I’m calling these Mountain Bar Bars because they are all the ingredients of the traditional drop cookie, pressed into a layered bar. Still no baking required!

Mountain Bar Bars

Mountain Bar Bars
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter

Directions

  1. Grease a 9×9 inch square pan.
  2. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Mix in the oats. Cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until ingredients are well blended. Reserve 1/2 cup of mixture for the topping. Press remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture over the crust in the pan, and spread evenly with a knife or the back of a spoon.
  4. Crumble the reserved oat mixture over the chocolate layer, pressing in gently. Cover, and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cutting into bars.

Apple Pie Bars

I’m still trying to use up all the fruit from my sister’s bridal shower. Had a bag of sliced apples that worked perfectly for these awesome Apple Pie Bars. They taste just like homemade apple pie – but they are much faster. The crust doubles as the streusel topping, which means you don’t have to roll out any dough. You don’t even need a fork – cause you can eat it just like a slice of pizza! Maybe I should change the name to Apple Pie Pizza? Whatever the name, I’m a big fan of anything that gets into my mouth as quickly as possible.

Apple Pie Bars

Apple Pie Bars (Recipe from Cuisine at Home)

Base and Streusel
2 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C packed brown sugar
3/4 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
6 T cold unsalted butter (if you use salted butter, half the amount of salt added)
3 T milk
3 T unsalted butter, melted

Apple Pie Filling
3 1/2 C tart apples (granny smith works best) peeled, cored and diced
1/3 C sugar
1/4 C heavy cream
1 T all-purpose flour
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°; coat a 10-inch springform pan with removable bottom with nonstick spray (if you don’t have a springform pan, a 9×9 square will work fine…it just won’t look like a piece of pie when you’re done).

Combine 2 C flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the base and streusel mixture in a bowl. Transfer 3/4 C of the mixture to a second bowl; set aside for the streusel. Cut 6 T cold butter and milk into the remaining dry ingredients using your (clean) fingers or a pastry blender if you’re fancy. Mix until clumps form.

Pat mixture evenly into prepared pan, using the bottom of a measuring cup to tamp down the dough. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until set and golden at the edges. Stir melted butter into the reserved streusel mixture until sandy; set aside.

Toss all ingredients for the apple filling together. Arrange over the hot base, pushing apple pieces to the edges of the pan to completely cover the crust.

Sprinkle apples with the streusel topping and bake until apples are soft and topping is golden, 30-40 minutes. Cool bars for at least 30 minutes before removing the side of the pan and cutting into wedges. Store bars at room temperature or chill. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or just eat it with your hands right out of the pan. 🙂

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