By Kevin Williams
Homemade caramel is another one of those classic Amish confections, enjoyed because it can be whipped up with just a few on-hand ingredients. So, what better to use homemade caramel in? Why, caramel bars, of course!
Caramel bars are easy to make and are perfect for an afternoon after-school snack. Many Amish cooks will make these and seal them in a tupperware container for enjoyment all week.
When I was in Aylmer, Ontario a few years ago I met an Amish man who said his wife's "Caramel Pie" was the best ever. She wasn't home but he told me to stop by later in the day and she'd give it to me. I did stop by "later in the day" but they weren't home. SIGH, talk about the one that got away. I bet that was an awesome recipe.
Interestingly, while homemade caramel is a mainstay in many Amish kitchens this caramel bar recipe (which comes to us from a New Order Amish family in Ohio) actually uses pre-bought caramel candies. I know the family this recipe came from and I'm guessing - since they own a bulk food store - for them using caramel candies was super easy. I'd just go that route, unless you really want to make your own homemade caramel.Here is the recipe!
- 32 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup butter, melted
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 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.
- 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 9x13 inch baking pan.
- Reserve the rest.
- Bake the crust for 8 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
- Pour the caramel mixture over the top and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over everything.
- 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.