From Southern Living
Since my oldest girl friends got the honor of being featured in last week’s post, I suppose it’s only fair to give a nod to some of John’s oldest guy friends this week. This past weekend we ventured up to Illinois’ backyard for what has become a Columbus Day weekend tradition at our friend Sam’s family’s lake house in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. We spent our time drinking, tossing around a football, making fires, and of course eating. It’s at this point that I should probably mention that these amazingly delicious carmelitas have absolutely nothing to do with our trip to Wisconsin. In fact, I made them last weekend and had I thought ahead I could have brought the half-batch currently frozen in my garage for the enjoyment of my Wisconsin compatriots. But alas, that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong, we ate plenty of food while in Wisconsin, mainly in the form of meat, these just weren’t part of the smorgasbord. They did, however, remind me of fall, so I felt they were fitting in this post. I mean, have you ever seen a more fall-inspired photo than the one below?
That’s the male half of our little group for the weekend, doing manly things. The three on the left have been friends for over 20 years, which is kind of crazy, and they’ve packed in enough jokes about the one on the right to make their 10+ years of friendship feel like a lot more. They happen to be very lucky that 3 of the 4 did not go to junior high with me, and thus won’t be meeting the same fate as my girlfriends did in last week’s post, but just take my word for it, they were a funny looking bunch back then. I think they turned out alright though, and they even found 4 girls willing to date (and in 2 cases marry!) them, so they must be doing something right 🙂
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted
- 1 12-oz package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 14-0z package caramels, each caramel unwrapped (yes, kind of a pain, watch TV or something while you do it)
- 1/3 cup half-and-half
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt with a whisk.
- Stir in butter, mixing until crumbly and moist throughout.
- Press 2/3 of mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans atop the cookie mixture in the baking dish.
- In a small, microwave safe bowl, combine caramels and half-and-half. Microwave at half-power for 3 minutes. Stir. Microwave 3 more minutes at half-power, stopping each minute to stir the mixture.
- Pour caramel over the chocolate and pecans.
- Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/3 of the cookie mixture.
- Bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
- Let stand at least 30 minutes before cutting. I refrigerated them over night, then let them stand at room temperature for about an hour before cutting them the next day. They came out perfectly, with no falling apart or crumbling.
Makes about 24-32 bars, depending on how you cut them.