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Streusel Caramel Bars

by on January 17, 2009 · 21 comments

Today I wanted to use up some leftover ingredients – half a can of condensed milk and a handful or caramels leftover from the holidays. This recipe from Eagle brand was the perfect choice. The title is Caramel Streusel Bars, but the condensed milk filling tastes more like dulce de leche; so you could tell all your friends they’re called Dulce de Leche Bars….unless you live in Argentina, in which case your friends might notice the filling wasn’t really dulce de leche. But the filling doesn’t really taste like caramel. The only improvement I can think of is a little cinnamon added to the topping. I tried adding a few chocolate chips and coconut, and that was overkill (oddly enough).

For a full batch recipe, click here. Below is the half batch recipe using 7 oz of condensed milk (half a can). Incidentally, when I was in London a few years ago I noticed they sold condensed milk in 7 oz containers. I wish they would sell smaller containers here.

Caramel Streusel Bars

Streusel Caramel Bars

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg
4 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, divided use
1/3 cup chopped nuts (pecans)
12-15 caramels, unwrapped
1/2 of a (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8 inch metal pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.

Combine flour, salt, brown sugar in bowl of food processor; pulse to mix. Add 4 tablespoons of the butter and pulse until mixture is coarse. Add the egg and pulse until mixed throughout. Add the nuts and pulse to mix.

Reserve 1 cups crumb mixture and press remainder firmly into pan. Bake 15 minutes.

In heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt caramels with sweetened condensed milk and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour over prepared crust. Top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly. Cool. Cut into bars. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

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Published on January 17, 2009

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

bakingblonde January 17, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Oh YUMMY, these sound like the Carmelita bars from Pislbury that i LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gotta love caramel and struesel!

VeggieGirl January 17, 2009 at 2:56 pm

CARAMEL?!?!?!??!!

**died and hopefully went to heaven**

Megan January 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Hi Anna – I made the Total Chocolate Chunk Cookies this morning – only I used Special K cereal instead (it’s what I had). I left in the oatmeal, and decreased the sugar a bit. They came out fabulous, and 2 out of 3 kids really liked them. I especially liked the way the cereal gave a bit of crunch to them.

I’d write about them on my blog, but I’m afraid people will think I’m stalking you……

Sara January 17, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Hi Anna! I made the Coffee Crunch Bars from Bon Appetite today – I made 1/4 of the recipe since the hub and I don’t need 48 of anything….they are very good in an extremely strong flavor way. I pressed mine into a 6×6 square and baked for about 40 minutes and I wish I had baked them for less time. The original recipe calls for 45-50 minutes. They are super buttery and crunchy, the outside bars are a little burnt tasting but the inside ones are much better. Extremely rich, though!

Sue January 17, 2009 at 3:44 pm

These look fantastic! I’ll keep these in mind for the future!
And, I’m LOL at Megan’s comment. I feel the same.

Jamie January 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

How perfect you posted a recipe for 1/2 a can, I have 1/2 a can in my fridge right now and was wondering what to do with it. I used the other 1/2 to make a small batch of Irish cream.

Katrina January 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm

YUM! I love streuselly stuff.
Megan, I was sure you only had 2 kids! ;)

Dani January 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm

should it be embarrasing that i am drooling right now? lol

Sara January 17, 2009 at 7:25 pm

These look great, I just had something similar that I picked up in a bakery, it also included chocolate!

Priscilla January 17, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Those bars look delicious. I have seen cans of sweetened condensed milk at the 99 cent store that were 7 ounces and a couple of times even smaller, about 3.5 ounces. Have you looked at a Hispanic market?

Tracy January 18, 2009 at 1:02 am

Looks good!
Yesterday I made one of the recipes from your giant chocolate chip cookie phase — YUM!
I’ve now tried choc chip recipes with cold butter, melted butter, softened butter, and I can’t decide if I like cold or melted the best.

Carol A, January 18, 2009 at 10:52 am

These do sound great! I love caramel.

That’s funny, Tracy, I just made a Big Fat Copy Cat yesterday, too! I really love the one with just an egg yolk, it’s a fantastic batter. I just had to make it because I bought miniature peanut butter cups at Trader Joes, has anyone seen these! Tiny little peanut butter cups, and I thought they would be great in a huge cookie instead of chips. Well, they are! I gave one to my friend and she said it might be the best cookie she ever had. That recipe calls for three huge cookies, I make six very large cookies with it. Worked perfectly.

So many great CCC doughs, so little time… so many calories…:-)

clumbsycookie January 18, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Good job Anna saving that hald a can of condensed milk! I’m with Katrina on the “streusselly” thing and don’t even get me started on dulce de leche! You’re right about the smaller cans, I wish we had those small ones as well! In Spain they have these little tubes, like tooth paste, they’re awesome, specially to squeeze into your mouth. Not that I had done that ;)…

Rachel B January 18, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Good news–you can freeze the other 7 oz. of your sweetened condensed milk. My husband is lactose intolerant, so I sometimes only make enough milky goodies for myself. I pour/scrape the rest of the milk into a jar and freeze it; there’s so much sugar that it works just fine. Sometimes I use it in espresso, to make a Vietnamese-style coffee, and sometimes I cook with it!

Tracy January 18, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Carol, those cookies with the mini PB cups in them sound yummy! I don’t think I’ve seen them around here — we don’t have TJ’s — but I think that’s just as well!

Anna, hope you don’t mind our side discussions on your blog! :-)

Anna January 18, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Sara, thanks for the review on those bars. I was going to make them but ended up making chocolate hazelnut biscotti (small batch) instead. I’ll post the recipe tomorrow.

Also, I had no idea condensed milk could be frozen. Interesting!

Tracey, I welcome side conversations. In fact, I think it might be fun to add a forum to Cookie Madness….a place for all cookie crazy people to gather. Todd said he’d help me with one.

Sorry I’m slow with posting today. I’ve been obsessing over whether or not to go to Italy during Spring Break. It’s a huge decision and I keep going back and forth. Air fares are okay, hotel rates are amazing, but I worry it will be rainy and cold. See? Now I’m obsessing in the comment section ;).

Sara January 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Hi Anna – don’t worry about what the weather will be like in Italy, you just never know! My husband and I spent part of our honeymoon in Rome and Venice (the rest in other parts of Europe/UK), and there was a freak heat wave throughout all of Europe when we went. It was 93 in London! You can’t plan for those things when you travel and sometimes unexpected weather leads to unexpected adventures :)

I’m going to make a high protein version of the swag bars tomorrow – using the Special K with protein for the cereal. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, it’s so hard to make high protein treats that still taste(almost) as good as regular ones!

HeartofGlass January 18, 2009 at 6:44 pm

‘Anna’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Period’–just like Picasso had a ‘Blue Period’ and a ‘Rose Period!’ This makes you officially an artist who has to go to Italy to be inspired–also, I think spring would be ideal, before it gets hot and before the ‘locals’ hit the road and everything shuts down in August.

Carol A, January 18, 2009 at 7:28 pm

When having the chance to go to Italy….GO!!! Even if it’s raining some or all of the time, it will be amazing. We had plenty of fun when it rained when we went 8 years ago (has it been that long? Time to go back!)

And I get that it’s a big decision, for many reasons. Just remember, you will eat some biscotti there, which will be research for your blog, which will make the whole trip a tax write-off.

Rina January 18, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Whatever you do, don’t watch Giada’s travel special on Italy – you may be on the next flight to Parma!

Jennifer January 19, 2009 at 10:00 am

I love bars like this! Thanks!

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