I was going to try to wait and post this recipe for Chocolate Friday, but ... I couldn't wait. *sigh* So much chocolate, so little time.
I really shouldn't try to bake at this time of the month, no matter how much I'm craving chocolate goodies. This was almost a disaster, a real "abandon ship!" kind of disaster, but I clung to the mast and road the sucker out. The resulting bars were delish, if I do say so myself. In case you're interested in the story (if not, just scroll down...), the situation was this:
Picture one fiercely PMSing woman, sitting in the kitchen peeling cellophane off 50 little caramel candy pieces - 50 FRIKKEN CARAMEL CANDIES!!! -- and she gets involved in a movie which was originally only intended to help the unwrapping all those suckers less tedious. Having gotten thusly involved in said movie, and being short of attention and patience anyway, PMSing woman puts caramels in the pan directly on the burner, adds milk, and then forgets about them. Some time later, the smell of scalding milk and burning caramel having failed to penetrate her haze, her hubs wanders in and interrupts her movie with, "Whatcha burnin'?"
I'm here to tell you, caramel mixed with burnt milk is disgusting. And it takes a while to get rid of the smell. Fortunately I had bought two bags of caramels, not being sure how many there were to a bag (50). So I dumped the ruined batch and started over -- UNWRAPPING FIFTY MORE CARAMELS. This time I put them in a pan on a pan in a makeshift double boiler setup.
I guess it's time to buy an actual double boiler, huh?
Anyway, you'll be happy to know that I was able to finish watching my movie without burning the 2nd batch of caramels and from that point forward, all was as well as it can be when you're PMSing.
German Chocolate Caramel Bars
1 box German Chocolate cake mix
3/4 cup butter (stick and a half)
1 cup evaporated milk
6 ounces chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (I used some of the candied walnuts from the other day)
Melt caramels over a low heat together with 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk. While caramels are melting, stir cake mix with softened butter and 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup evaporated milk. Just add milk a little at a time till it reaches the consistency of frosting. Divide batter in half and spread half on the bottom of a 9x13 inch cake pan. Bake for 6 minutes at 350°. Remove from oven and sprinkle with nuts and chocolate chips. Pour melted caramel on top and lastly, dot with remaining cake batter. Continue baking for 15-25 minutes.
You can insert a toothpick into the cake batter portions to test for done-ness (should come out dry), but be careful because if you hit a chocolate chip or the caramel, it'll come out wet.
I took a platter down to my brother's last night and they were a hit! Of course I saved some back for
myself the hubs. Heh.