Monday, October 17, 2011

Caramel Cracker Bars



Today is Reveal Day for Group B of Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned to Shugary Sweets. I was so excited about this assignment, because a couple months ago I had tagged Caramel Cracker Bars to try sometime, and now I had the perfect opportunity!

These little gems are a wonderful combination of salty and sweet, with a delicious chocolate topping, reminiscent of scotch-a-roos. They are super easy to make, but hard to wait for once they're cooling in the fridge! But don't be tempted to sneak one early - they do need time in the fridge to set up properly.

I started by making graham cracker crumbs. At first, I thought it was weird to add graham cracker crumbs to a caramel mixture, but they add a really interesting depth of flavor. You can make crumbs in the food processor or by crushing them with a rolling pin or whatever your favorite method is. Just make sure they're crushed quite finely.



Next, line a 9x13 baking pan with foil, grease the foil (or spray with nonstick spray) and then line the bottom with a layer of Ritz crackers.



In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, brown sugar,



milk



and graham cracker crumbs.



Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil



then stir and cook for an additional five minutes. Pour half the caramel mixture over the layer of crackers,



then add a second layer of crackers on top of the caramel.



Pour the remaining caramel



over the second layer of crackers. Look at all those crackers just swimming in caramel.



Finish this off with a third layer of crackers, then cover the dish with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least a half hour. In the meantime, you can make the topping.

In a medium saucepan, combine the peanut butter, butterscotch chips



and chocolate chips.



Cook and stir over low heat until the mixture is smooth. It will take a little while, at first it will just look like this!



But it will smooth out, and when it does, dollop it over the crackers and use a spatula or knife to spread it out in an even layer.

Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours. These may be the longest four hours of your life; but be patient! When the time is up, remove the bars using the foil handles, and carefully pull away the sides of the foil from the caramel.



Slice into thin strips



then into bite sized pieces. Store these in the refrigerator. (I actually found it easiest after those first few cuts to invert the bars onto the cutting board, remove the foil completely, and then slice upside down before turning right side up to serve and store.)

Thanks, Shugary Sweets. You've now made me, and several others, addicted to these yummy treats!

See all the Secret Recipe Club participants in the list below.

One year ago: Pumpkin Cake
Two years ago: Peach Pound Cake

You can find even more good stuff at Mouthwatering Mondays, Mangia Mondays, Your Recipe, My Kitchen, Menu Monday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday, Made from Scratch Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (#3), Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Crockpot Wednesday, What's on your plate?, Cast Party Wednesday, Made it on Monday, What's Cooking Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked.

Caramel Cracker Bars

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter

Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil and grease the foil well. Place a layer of Ritz crackers over the foil and set aside.

In saucepan, heat graham cracker crumbs, sugar, brown sugar, butter and milk. Bring to a boil and continue stirring while boiling for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Pour half of caramel mixture over Ritz, then add another layer of crackers over the caramel mixture. Top with remaining caramel and then one more layer of crackers. Refrigerate for about 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt butterscotch and semi sweet chips with the peanut butter. Stir until smooth and creamy. Pour over the top layer of crackers and refrigerate 4 hours or over night.

Remove the bars from the pan using the foil, and place them chocolate side down on a cutting surface. Remove the foil and then cut (upside down) into bite sized pieces. Turn right side up to store and serve. Store in the refrigerator.



27 comments:

  1. What a fun recipe! I wouldn't have ever thought to use crackers for a crunchy layer in a sweet treat. I'll have to add these to my to do list. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Ooh! I need these immediately! So easy but they look awesome!

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  3. Oh my... I made a similar recipe with graham crackers and it's extremely popular so I can't wait for a time when I need to bring a big batch of goodies so I can make these! Great SRC pick!

    I hope you'll stop by and see my SRC post.

    :)
    ButterYum

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  4. Oh my heck! I'm so making these tonight! Thanks!

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  5. I just love you Caramel Cracker Bars, they look so good! Thanks for sharing and it is fun cooking with you in the SRC!
    Miz Helen
    Southwest Chicken and Potato Soup

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  6. I'm sure I'll love this recipe..thanks , ciao Flavia

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  7. Wow! Those sent me on a sugar buzz just seeing the pictures. What a great, easy recipe for a delicious treat.

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  8. Wow ... these must've been deelicious!!!

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  9. Oh gosh, these are right up my alley. So yummy. I host a Tuesday linky (Crazy Sweet Tuesday) and would love for you to join sometime!

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  10. Salty and sweet! I might just have to get over my block on making caramel sauce for these bars!

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  11. This looks SO delicious, I’m book-marking this to make for later! I found you via Tempt my Tummy Tuesday. I’m your newest follower and would love a “follow back”!

    Have a great week,

    Jillian @ www.foodfolksandfun.blogspot.com

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  12. We make a similar dessert in my family but with Saltine crackers, and no caramel. Yours sound buttery and delicious!

    Amy @ A Little Nosh

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  13. This looks so yummy.. Awesome recipe.. Officially following ya from http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.. Hope you can stop in sometime.. Off to indulge in all your creative explosion here.. : ))

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  14. wow, these looks REALLY tasty!!! Not difficult either. Must try!

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  15. Wow those look just fantastic. My family will love this. Come visit. We have a terrific pumpkin panna cotta recipe to share.

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  16. I LOVE your recipe! It would be a PERFECT addition to my party. Would you come over to CAST PARTY WEDNESDAY tomorrow and share it with us?
    Thanks,
    I hope to see you there!
    http://ladybehindthecurtain.com

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  17. I tried making these a few weeks back and though delicious I couldn't for the life of me cut them into squares without everything falling apart. Yours look wonderful.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my group "A" SRC recipe this month: Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies.

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

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  18. Yum! Looks great! Fun to participate in SRC with you!

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  19. WOW, Ritz & Chocolate YUM! I made a Christmas dessert one time with both of these and they were a hit, just like yhis recipe I am sure!

    Thank you for being a part of Secret Recipe Club, I really enjoy this group and being your hostesss. My recipe for this month was Frozen Breakfaast Burritos, even though I made these a few weeks ago for Monday's post, I just made a second batch today!

    If you haven't checked them out yet, please stop by!
    http://momscrazycooking.blogspot.com/2011/10/frozen-breakfast-burritos-secret-recipe.html

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  20. I had bookmarked these on Aimee's blog too. I love the mix of sweet and salty. I am seriously obsessed with all things salt and caramel mixed. Love that first photo! Great SRC pick :)

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  21. Hi there, these bars look so delicious. I am definitely going to have to make some for the Christmas holidays. Hello 5 extra pounds, LOL I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

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  22. OMG these look deeeelicious! I love salty and sweet combinations, I can't wait to try this one

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