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caramelitas

Caramel and chocolate!!  What can go wrong?  Nothing.   This is a quick easy and delicious combination of caramel, chocolate and of course . . . healthy oats.  I won’t mention the cream and butter if you don’t.  Since I have discovered these, melting caramel is a breeze.  No more painstaking task of unwrapping each caramel . . . and they melt so  quickly.   I found them at Target after an extensive search of the markets in Southern California.

You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry and can try this tonight.

  • 1 package of caramel bits
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup butter – melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar – packed
  • 1  cup flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6-8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Prepare a 8″ square pan by placing non-stick foil in it with the sides overlapping about three inches.  This will ease the removal after baking.

Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely smooth; set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda.  Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust.

 Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips.

Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.

Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.

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caramel crunches

Caramel bits – my new favorite ingredient.  This was my second recipe (featured on the bag) in less than two weeks after receiving a shipment of 12 bags from Amazon, not to mention just snacking on them.  I’m afraid I won’t be able to stop and just keep making decadent desserts using the cute little BB sized caramel treasures.  They are the perfect size, taste delicious and melt  quickly and easily.  Now I know why many recipes require you to “unwrap 60 caramels”  – a good deterrent against making too many caramel desserts.  However, I really can’t resist the convenience and seem to always have them on hand for recipes like this,  which is easy and versatile.  You could probably use any type of nuts or chocolate; add coconut or dried fruit – I think the combinations are endless.  I apologize for the unfocused pictures – photography isn’t my strong suit.

•    4 ½ graham crackers
•    1 package (11 ounces) caramel bits
•    2 tablespoons milk
•    ½ cup roasted and salted peanuts
•    ½ cup mini marshmallows
•    ½ cup pretzels – coarsely chopped
•    1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Line an 8 inch baking pan with foil, with the ends extending and grease the foil well.  Place graham crackers on bottom, cutting to fit.

Put caramel bits and milk into a small bowl and microwave for two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted.  

Pour caramel over graham crackers and spread with an offset spatula to cover.

Top with marshmallows . . .

then peanuts. . .

then pretzels.

Melt chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler and drizzle on top. 

I think next time I will use semi-sweet chocolate (not chips) which will probably drizzle easier.

Refrigerate for at least one hour. 

Cut into squares

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Blueberry Pudding Cake

Blueberry Pudding Cake

Adapted from southernfood.com

In my mission to use my last two cups of blueberries, this recipe came to mind.  My friend at work told me about this recipe since we both love bluberries.  It is very easy to make (I made it after work one night and it only takes a few minutes to put together).  It can be rather sweet, so you could cut down on the sugar a bit, but why?  I know – I know pour a cup of boiling water on top and bake?  Seems strange, but trust me, it works.  After about 50 minutes, it magically transforms into layers of saucy blueberries, pudding type cake and a crispy sweet topping.  I actually think this is even better from the fridge the next day.

  • 2 cups (or more) blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup boiling water

Put blueberries in 8 x 8 baking dish (or similar). Stir in lemon juice

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and 3/4 cup sugar.

Thoroughly blend egg, melted butter, vanilla and milk and whisk into flour mixture.

Pour/spread on top of blueberries.

Mix sugar and cornstarch and . . .

sprinkle over batter.

Pour boiling water evenly over the top.

Trust me, it may look weird but it works.

and bake 45-50 minutes.

Serve warm or room temperature.

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