YYou can thank the nice Land O'Lakes people for this super-easy, super-good recipe. The only problem with these bars is that you want to just have one more since they're so small.... Land O'Lakes says the yield is 25 bars, but I don't know how they got 25. I got 16 (4 across, 4 down) and they're not big; and I used a 9" pan. Other than that, this recipe is great, especially if you like milk chocolate. I'm a milk chocolate lover, but I mixed semi-sweet chips in and I'm glad I did. I don't think I would want this to be all milk chocolate. Remember, when you're baking, you're the boss. Put whatever chips in you like. If you don't like peanuts, change the nuts to what you like. Custom make your treat. These bars are crunchy from the nuts, and chewy from the marshmallows and caramel. What else can I say? These are prize winners in my book.
Blue Ribbon Rocky Road Caramel Bars
Prep time: 15 min.; Baking time: 30 minutes; Cooling Time: 2 hours
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur whole wheat flour)
3/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup sugar (I used 1 Tbsp. Stevia + 1 tsp. molasses)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt (I used sea salt)
1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts (I used honey-roasted peanuts)
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts (again, I used honey-roasted peanuts)
1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 of a 7-oz. milk chocolate bar, cut into chunks (I used 3 oz. of a Hershey's Symphony bar and a nice handful of Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips)
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all crust ingredients except peanuts in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/4 cup peanuts. Reserve 3/4 cup crumb mixture.
Press remaining crumb mixture onto bottom of well-greased 8 or 9-inch square baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Meanwhile, place ice cream topping in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until warm (about 1 minute). Drizzle topping over hot, partially baked crust. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup peanuts, marshmallows and chocolate chunks. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned. Cool completely. Cut into bars. These are yummmmy.