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These chocolate caramel pecan bars are the perfect treat when you want something sweet and delicious. In fact, they’re actually quite addictive. I’m not as much of a sugar junkie as my husband is, but I can’t get enough of these.
There’s just something about the blend of chocolate, caramel, and nuts that sends me into orbit. But have you ever noticed that it’s always difficult to get the first bar out of the pan? I made a mess of that one, but the rest turned out pretty wonderful.
Perfect Potluck Dessert
If you’re going to a party or get-together with friends and family, these chocolate caramel pecan bars are the perfect items to bring. However, be prepared to share the recipe or tell everyone that it’s a secret recipe (with a big smile and a wink of course).
Most people who attend potluck events are there to socialize more than anything. When they get delicious food, that’s a bonus. In addition to these bars, other good things to bring are various salads and sides.
I’m a big salad lover! In fact, I can turn almost anything into a salad. I figure salads can consist of whatever I want to include. Some of my favorites are this zucchini and squash salad and this tomato cucumber corn salad with feta. In case someone doesn’t care for feta, you can bring that in a small container on the side. People can add it if they want.
One of the nice things about bringing a salad with this chocolate caramel pecan dessert is that there’s some balance.
A lot of people like baked beans. So I took one of my mom’s old recipes, doctored it up a bit, and came up with this delicious crockpot baked beans recipe. It’s loaded with flavor, and even some people who don’t care for beans like it.
Too Good to Keep in the House
One of the reasons I made these bars when I did was that I’ll be seeing someone who loves sweet treats soon. So I can bring them to her. Since I know that if they’re in the house, I’ll eat them, it’s always good to have them gone.
Regular or Gluten-Free Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars
The only ingredient in these bars that might have gluten is the cake mix. So I use a gluten-free version. However, you can use the regular one if you’re able to tolerate gluten.
Fortunately, many of the major companies make gluten-free mixes, and it’s not difficult to find them these days. Even Aldi has their own gluten-free cake mixes, and they’re very good. This time, I used one of the major brands that you can find in most grocery stores.
Ingredients for Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars
You need yellow cake mix, brown sugar, evaporated milk, and butter for the crust. The filling consists of caramel chips or bits, evaporated milk, and chocolate chips. I normally use semi-sweet chocolate chips. But sometimes I use milk chocolate if that’s all I have on hand.
How to make Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars
This is a super simple recipe. In fact, you’re basically assembling it in layers, so there’s nothing complicated about it. You can use either an 8” x 8” metal baking pan or a 7” x 11” casserole dish. I’ve made it in both, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference.
Melt the butter in the microwave and add the cake mix and half of the evaporated (not sweetened) milk. Stir until well mixed.
Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a greased baking pan or casserole dish. Bake for 5 minutes.
Pour the caramel bits and the other half of the evaporated milk into a medium sized bowl. Microwave for approximately 1-1/2 minutes. Stir and keep microwaving in 30-second segments, until all of the caramel is melted and stirs into the milk.
After it has a smooth consistency, pour it over the bottom crust.
Sprinkle a 1/2 of a bag of chocolate chips over the bottom crust. It will melt when you pour the hot caramel mixture over it.
Place the pecans in a single layer over the chocolate chips.
If you like your dessert extra sweet, add brown sugar to the remaining crust and mix it well. Or you may leave out the brown sugar if you prefer. And then sprinkle the rest of the crust mixture over the pecans and chocolate chips.
Bake this in the oven until the top crust is brown and crunchy. Your house will smell so good!
Let It Cool
After you remove it from the oven, you need to let it cool for at least an hour before you cut it into squares or rectangles. If you want, you can put it in the refrigerator after about half an hour to speed up the cooling process. But my fridge was full, so I didn’t.
If you like these chocolate caramel pecan bars, you’ll like some of my other favorites. Close to the top of my list is this recipe for peanut butter Cocoa Krispie treats.
More Fun Recipes
- 1 package of yellow cake mix
- 2 cups of caramel chips or bits
- 2/3 cup of evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup of melted butter
- 1/2 package of chocolate chips
- 1 cup of chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of a 8” x 8” baking pan or 7” x 11” casserole dish.
- Mix the cake mix with the melted butter and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk until it becomes thick dough. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan to form the bottom crust.
- Put the bottom crust in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove.
- Pour the caramel bits and evaporated milk into a medium-size mixing bowl. Place in the microwave for 1-1/2 minutes. Remove and stir. If the caramel bits haven’t melted, return it to the microwave for 30 seconds. Repeat this process until the bits have melted.
- Pour the hot caramel mixture over the bottom crust.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the caramel bits.
Place the pecans in a single layer over the chocolate chips.
- If you choose to add the brown sugar for an extra sweet crust, add it to the remaining dough and mix well. Then sprinkle the dough over the caramel mixture. If you don’t want it too crumbly, press the dough down. Or you can leave it alone for a crumbly top.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for at least an hour before cutting it into squares or rectangles. If you want to speed the process, place it in the refrigerator to cool.
Don’t try to cut it before it has time to cool, or it will fall apart. I know this from experience.
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Amount Per ServingCalories 466 Total Fat 18g Saturated Fat 7g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 10g Cholesterol 24mg Sodium 594mg Carbohydrates 76g Fiber 2g Sugar 56g Protein 4g