Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Missouri River Mud Bars

These are some of the best cookie bars I have ever eaten, and I'm not even a big fan of chocolate! (but caramel...yes!) The recipe comes from a good friend, and faithful Haute Plates reader Jodi Wells! I made them for the girls' teachers for St. Patrick's Day and packed them into little green buckets along with some gold chocolate coins. Nothing says "Lucky" like surprise, homemade yumminess!

1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
pinch of salt
1/3 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, if you prefer)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla

Caramel Sauce
9 ounces of caramels
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, pecans, salt, and baking soda.
Add the vanilla to the melted butter and stir.
Mix together the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
Press into a 9X13 pan and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool slightly.

While crust is cooling, make caramel sauce by melting all ingredients in a double boiler, stirring constantly. (I've made it without a double boiler before - just use a super low heat, melting slowly and stirring constantly)
TIP: I spray the inside of the double boiler/sauce pan with Pam before starting - it makes for easier clean up!

Pour caramel over baked crust.
Top the caramel with the chopped pecans and chocolate chips.
Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes, or until the chocolate chips are slightly melted.
Allow to cool completely before cutting!
Run a knife around the edges and cut into 24 bars.


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