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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Caramel Nutty Bars

A family favorite, these bar cookies are part of my Christmas repertoire.

1  1/2 cups of buttered, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup honey (corn syrup also works)
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (I use milk)
1 can (12 ounces) lightly salted mixed nuts, about 2  1/2 cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 X 9 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, cream 1 cup of the butter with granulated sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly-browned and center looks dry. Remove from oven and set on a rack.

Meanwhile, in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining 1/2 cup of butter with honey (or corn syrup). Heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the butter is melted. Stir in brown sugar and bring to a boil. Boil exactly 2 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and stir in the cream (milk) and nuts. Immediately spoon evenly over the baked crust. Return to a 350 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the caramel topping bubbles.

Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Once cool, cut into squares or bars. Store in tightly- covered container at room temperature.

So, that's the official recipe. As you know, I substituted about 1 cup of halved pretzel sticks for 1 cup of the nuts. The results were delicious, and the pretzels stayed crunchy. I also didn't bake the full recipe, but baked a half-recipe in an 8 X 8 inch baking pan. I used half of an egg and saved the other half in the fridge to use in when making scrambled eggs the next day. I substituted granulated sugar plus a dash of molasses for the brown sugar and used corn syrup in place of honey. Later this summer, I plan to make these again using peanuts and pretzels and skipping the mixed nuts altogether. I think this recipe could be open to other savory or snacky topping additions, such as Chex mix, Cheerios, or raisins mixed in with nuts.


  1. I was hoping you would post this! I may need to buy some pretzels in the near future.

  2. Hmm, that last comment was from me, Kris. I coulda sworn I clicked the "name" identity selection.

  3. This looks yummy, Lili. I can't remember what you said about it in the original post... is it something like a "magic bar"? That's what it reminds me of. Seems like a great recipe for substituting whatever you have/like, too (as you did with the pretzels, actually!) Thanks for sharing so many great ideas! Sara

    PS... Kris, sorry they made you anonymous.

  4. Hi Kris,
    I hope you get a chance to make these. They are definitely a family favorite at our house!

  5. Hi Sara,
    not quite a magic bar. It's a shortbread cookie base topped with a caramel sauce that is cooked on the stove, then nuts/pretzels added and poured over the crust, then baked some more. I do think there could be many variations, which is always nice.


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