The Easy Chocolate Caramel Bars were great, but I wanted to try a second version a little more like the Sheila’s Dream Bars we sometimes buy at Pot Belly Sandwich Shop. Those bars don’t contain oats, and I read somewhere that the caramel in the middle is the kind used for candy apples. There are a few different brands of caramel mixes you can buy for apple dipping (they’re usually in the produce aisle), but I immediately thought of an old product from the ’70s called “Wrapples“. I hadn’t seen them in a couple of decades, then the other day noticed that Concord Foods had a similar product.
So yes, I could have just used caramels or Kraft caramel bits, but I was kind of fixated on the idea of effortlessly laying the caramel over the base without having to unwrap or melt it.
The bars were a success. The caramel, which of course didn’t have any extra butter or cream added to it, was stiffer than usual, but still tasty. I can’t say it was any better than using a mixture of cream and melted caramel bits, though. I’m still working on finding a good homemade/scratch caramel filling, but the few I’ve tested have been a little too greasy.
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 cup plus 3 1/2 teaspoons (5.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 scant teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 circles of candy apple caramel
- 2 tablespoons (approximately) miniature chocolate chips or chopped nuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray or just line it with nonstick foil.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave-safe dish, then remove from heat and let cool.
- Stir the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar together in the mixing bowl.
- Whisk together the egg yolk, vanilla and melted butter, then pour into dry mixture and stir until crumbly. Put 1 cup of the mixture in the refrigerator (chilling it a bit helps make it easier to crumble). Press remaining into the pan.
- Unwrap the caramel circles and lay them over the dough.
- Crumble the reserved dough over the caramel and sprinkle chocolate chips or nuts on the top.
- Bake on center rack for 20 to 23 minutes. Let cool completely at room temperature. For a cleaner cut, chill for about an hour or until firm and cold.
- Lift from pan and cut into squares or bars