I Love Chocolate

by Stephanie Zonis


Crunchy Caramel Bars

48 bars


These are my take on an old mainstream American classic, but they're better because they include chocolate! You don't need many ingredients, and they go together pretty quickly, but be warned that things can get a bit messy when you're making them! Feel free to substitute other nuts for the pecans in the topping—walnuts or roasted, unsalted peanuts would be a good choice.

Once made, these can be stored at cool room temperature for at least a week; they also freeze well. Be sure the caramels you use are soft and fresh. It is imperative that you butter the lined pan, as well as the cooking pot and utensils that will come in contact with the bars while you're making them. I cut these into small bars, as they are quite rich.


4 Tbsp. water
Enough individually-wrapped caramels
   to make 1 pound when unwrapped
6 cups crispy rice cereal

9 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
   (or use 1-1/2 cups semisweet chips)
1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
1 cup medium-fine-chopped pecans


Line a 13 by 9 inch pan (at least 1-1/2 inches deep) with heavy-duty aluminum foil (or two lengths of regular-weight foil), shiny side up, pressing out as many creases as possible. With softened butter, butter the lined pan. Butter the inside of a four-quart, heavy-bottomed pot; the bowls of several large spoons; a rubber spatula; and the tines of a sturdy whisk. Have a bit of softened butter standing by for pressing the mixture into the pan.

Pour the water into the four-quart pot. Make sure all of the wrapping has been removed from the caramels, then add them gently so they don't splash. Set the pot over low heat. Melt the caramels, stirring first with one of the large spoons you've buttered; mash the caramels slightly if they are stubborn about melting. Be careful here, as the water can splash until it is incorporated into the caramels. Stir constantly, scraping pot bottom and sides with rubber spatula occasionally. If your caramels continue to be stubborn about melting completely, as mine always are, switch to stirring them with a whisk. Whisk/stir briskly until caramels are smooth and melted and water is completely incorporated. Remove from heat.

All at once, add cereal. With one of the large buttered spoons, stir well just until ingredients are well-mixed and cereal is coated with caramel mixture. Scrape into prepared pan.

Immediately press evenly into bottom of pan, using the backs of buttered spoons (you'll have to re-butter the backs of the spoons periodically) or, if caramel mixture isn't too hot, your buttered fingers. Work quickly; this sets up rapidly. Allow to cool completely before applying topping.

For Topping:
In medium heatproof bowl, combine chocolate and shortening. Place over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir often just until smooth and melted. Remove from heat and hot water; dry bowl bottom and sides with towel. Pour slowly all over top of bars, then spread quickly with back of spoon or offset spatula to make as even a layer as possible. Immediately sprinkle pecans evenly all over top of chocolate layer. With back of a clean spoon, press pecans gently into chocolate.

Let stand at room temperature until set (or chill briefly just until set). Cover airtight and store at cool room temperature.

To cut, use a large, sharp, heavy, straight-edged knife. Butter or oil the blade (use tasteless vegetable oil). Remove uncut block, still in foil, from pan, and transfer to cutting board; gently peel foil back from edges. Score the top of the block where you want to make cuts, then cut down firmly with knife blade. It may be necessary to rinse the knife blade under very hot water, dry it, then re-butter it once or twice during the cutting process if you want to keep your cuts neat. Store cut bars airtight at cool room temperature; freeze for longer storage.


I Love Chocolate


Current I Love Desserts
I Love Chocolate Archive


Copyright © 2000 Francesca Chocolate Productions. All Rights Reserved.

Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You may: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your computer for your own personal use only; and reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.


This page created October 2000


The Global Gourmet
The Global Gourmet®
Main Page


Irish Recipes for
St. Patrick's Day

   Clip to Evernote

Bookmark and Share


Twitter: @KateHeyhoe

Search this site:

Advanced Search
Recent Searches


Kate's Global Kitchen
Kate's Books
Cookbook Profiles
Global Destinations
Holiday & Party Recipes
I Love Desserts
On Wine

Caffeine and You Caffeine and You
cooking kids Cooking with Kids
new green basics New Green Basics

Conversions, Charts
   & Substitutions

About the
Global Gourmet®
   Contact Info
   Privacy Statement

Recent Cookbooks

Cooking Italian
175 Home Recipes
4-Hour Chef
Bakery Cookbook
Barefoot Contessa
Bouchon Bakery
Burma: Rivers of Flavor
Cake Mix Doctor
Comfort Food
Craft of Coffee
Crazy Sexy Kitchen
Daily Cookie
Fifty Shades Chicken
French Slow Cooker
Frontera - Rick Bayless
Gluten-Free Quick & Easy
Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Kitchen Science
Lidia's Favorite Recipes
Make-Ahead and Freeze
Modern Milkshakes
Modernist Cuisine
Mystic Cookbook
Paleo Slow Cooking
Picky Palate
Pop Bakery
Practical Paleo
Quick Family Cookbook
Sensational Cookies
Smitten Kitchen
Southern Living Recipes
Sweet Life in Paris
Trader Joe's Vegetarian
True Food
Whole Larder

More Cookbooks


Kitchen & Home


Copyright © 1994-2013,
Forkmedia LLC



cat toysCatnip Toys

Kitchen & Home