Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Caramel Oatmeal Bars


This recipe came from one my mom's friends, Mrs Caddock...I've got it in her handwritting and it's special to me, even though I've never met her!  

These are oooey, gooey, and crispy at the same time.  She originally made them as oatmeal cookies, but I've done them in a pan, and added the caramel bits - and a splash of maple syrup, just 'cause.

It works best with old fashioned oats, but quick oats will work...they will just be more cakey and less flaky.  Either way - your family will not complain!

(You can make them into cookies...but my patience wears thin after a few pans, so I like to make them bars.  Same taste and satisfaction...easier, quicker...just my preferred way, these days!)

1 cup shortening (I like the butter-flavor kind)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 package caramel bits (Kraft makes one...little balls of caramel...!! See photo below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 10x15 inch aluminum baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl cream together the shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, vanilla, and syrup.
Stir in the salt, baking soda, flour, oats, and caramel bits. 

With your hands pat them, evenly, into the prepared pan.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes...may take a little longer...just until when you life up a bit in the middle with a knife, it's not looking raw, but that sort of un-done cookie-middle that will finish cooking as they cool.  (CLEAR AS MUD. See photo below!)

Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and cut while still warm.  These are quite crunchy on the edges and will stick to the pan if you don't remove them while warm.  Store in an airtight container.

This is how the warm inside will look: 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Quarantine Comfort...


Cleaning out the fridge or using up ingredients that may go to waste is a perfect time to make bread pudding.  So, comforting - so homey - old fashioned and easy...your family will thank you for taking the effort (although there really isn't any!).


3 1/2 cups cubed day old bread (I like french WITH the crust)

3 tablespoons butter
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup caramel sauce, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a medium sized shallow
casserole with cooking spray and set aside. (One that will
fit inside a 9x13 baking pan.)

In a large bowl microwave the butter, milk, sugar, vanilla,
and salt until butter is melted, but mixture is not hot.

Whisk in the eggs.

Add in the bread cubes into the egg mixture and stir to
coat all pieces, but don't break them up. Pour into prepared

Drizzle HALF of the caramel sauce over the top.

Place in a 9x13 baking dish and pour in hot water to come
halfway up the inner casserole.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean - or
when you lift up a bit in the center it's not still wet looking.

Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce and dot with softened

BEST when served warm!!