Time to do some baking. We are going to visit family for a holiday potluck. This year we are trying to avoid bringing foods that require working over a hot stove and the resulting lengthy clean-up. Our family wants to leave more time for visiting. Good plan.
Many in the family will also bring delicious desserts. We are bringing a caramel layered brownie. The recipe is available for printout farther down on this page. Let’s get started.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ and grease a 9×13 baking pan.
Remove the wrappers from a 12-14 oz bag of caramels. Add 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Heat slowly. Stir at times to a smooth texture. Keep it gently warmed for later.
In another pan, mix together a box of German chocolate cake mix, 1/4 cup of chopped nuts, and 2 tablespoons of instant coffee. Then add 3/4 cup melted butter and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk. Use half of this dough to cover the bottom of the baking pan. It helps to oil your hands a little so it doesn’t stick to you much. A silicone spatula might also work well. Bake this for 7 minutes.
Remove from the oven and spread chocolate chips over the hot surface. Use your judgement about how many.
Pour the melted caramel sauce uniformly over the chocolate chips. Again, use your judgement about how thick you want the caramel. If you have some left over, put it in a bowl and eat it on ice cream or just alone.
Cover the caramel with the remaining half of the dough. It doesn’t spread easily. I pick up small handfuls at a time, flatten them in my oiled fingers, and lay them so I cover everything. It takes a little extra time. But it is worth it. Here it is before baking. A few little spots of caramel are peeking through.
Here is the pan after baking at 350˚ for 20 minutes. It rose a little, then settled after cooling. Notice how close it is to the pan rivets on the right side before and after cooking.
Let the contents cool completely. Cut into squares a little larger than an inch on a side. I got at least 70 squares. Most are now in a tin to share at our party. The remaining few squares and some trimmed edge pieces are going to stay home for emergency use in the coming days. See the recipe below.
Jim's Caramel Layer Squares
- 12-14 oz package of caramels
- 1/3 C of evaporated milk
- 1 box of German chocolate cake mix
- 2 T of instant coffee
- 1/4 C of chopped nuts
- 3/4 C melted butter
- 1/3 C of evaporated milk
- 1/2 bag of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350˚ and grease a 9×13 baking pan
Unwrap caramels. Combine with the evaporated milk. Melt mixture to a smooth liquid. Keep warm for later.
Mix together the dry cake mix, chopped nuts, and instant coffee powder. Then, add the evaporated milk and the melted butter. Stir to a smooth consistency. Divide in half.
Press half of the dough into the bottom of the baking pan. Bake it for 7 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle desired amount of chocolate chips over the hot surface. Pour the melted caramel sauce over this. Then, use your oiled hands and fingers to flatten out quantities of the remaining dough. Layer these over the entire caramel layer.
Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely. Cut into squares about 1″ on a side.