Tuesday, October 7

Caramel Bars

This is my mom's own recipe, for the greatest bars ever made in the history of Midwest Cookin. Yes, they are sugary. Yes, they are not "good for you". But they are so so so so so so so yummy and worth givin up a few extra calories for. Also, they do have oatmeal in them, so you can chalk that up to your daily dose of whole grain, right?

I have never heard someone say they didn't like these, and if I ever do hear it, I might just punch them in the face for talkin smack about my momma's bars.

1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. oatmeal
2 sticks + 2 tbsp. margarine (melted) (what? no oleo?)
1 c. + 2 tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. soda (bakin soda, not soda pop, goofus)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 bag caramels (get some kids to unwrap them all, but you've got to watch em like a hawk - as my mom used to when we were kids - in order to make sure they don't eat half the caramels you need for the recipe)
8 tbsp. milk
1 bag chocolate chips (keep your paws out of them, they're for the bars)

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x13 cake pan

How to:
Mix together first 6 ingredients and pat into a 9x13-inch pan (save 1/4 for topping). Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees; set aside. Melt caramels with milk. Sprinkle chocolate chips over baked mixture Spread melted caramel over chips, then top with remainin crumbs. Bake 15 more minutes at 350 degrees. Do not overbake! (or they will suck and be diamond-hard. I am very proud that my mom didn't leave out any important steps, like the oven temp or bake time. Too bad I can't say the same for lots of the other recipes on this site!!!)

Monday, October 6

Punkin Bars

Bars, bars, bars! The perennial classic, the foundation of the Midwest potluck dessert line!

If you need to bake somethin up real quick for a Fall Bake Sale (there are like 10 of them goin on at my job this week, so I've got bake sales on the brain...), you can't go wrong with Punkin Bars.

(Sorry, I just can't think of anythin snarky to say about Punkin Bars because I actually find them to be quite delish. But there will be other, more sinister bars to come in the future - I won't let you down!)

2 c. sugar
1 c. salad oil (how bout vegetable or canola?)
4 eggs
2 c. flour
2 tsp. bakin powder
1 tsp. soda
1-1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. pumpkin

1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
3/4 stick oleo (yay! oleo! I love that word!)
1 tbsp. vanilla
3 c. powdered sugar

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 11x17-inch jelly roll pan (who on earth makes jelly rolls anymore? I think they call em "bakin sheets" these days...)

How to:
Mix all together and pour into a greased 11x17-inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. (And THEN you frost them. Probably after they've cooled [of course, the recipe is sufficiently vague on this aspect, most likely because if you're dumb enough to frost your bars before you bake em, you shouldn't be allowed to play with the stove].)