Thursday, September 17, 2015

Diamond Chocolatey-Walnut Caramel Bars

To die for.

That's what these are. I made them two weeks ago to post, and then didn't... and made them again because they're that good and people love them, and by association, they then love me.

It's all mathematical.

Imagine an amazing cookie bar, slathered with caramel and chocolate, baked to perfection, and just as good on day 2 (if any make it to day 2!) as the first day. And we actually decided we like them just as well at room temperature, as warm... maybe better, because they hold their shape perfectly then.

So here's the recipe, courtesy of Diamond Walnuts:

2 1/3 cups flour
2 cups oats (quick or regular)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups butter melted
2 cups chocolate chips (dark)
1 cup Caramel ice cream topping
1 1/2 cups Diamond walnuts, chopped

Mix 2 cups of flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Add melted butter.

Mix until everything is moistened. Reserve one cup of crumb mix and pat rest into a 13" x 9" ungreased pan.

Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden.

Mix chocolate chips and walnuts, sprinkle thickly over the hot oatmeal base. press in lightly.

Mix remaining 1/3 cup flour with caramel. Drizzle over chocolatey-nutty deliciousness.

Top with reserved cup of crumbly mixture. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes or until gently golden.

Cool and cut, although I bet you won't wait until they're fully cool, and that's okay. They are amazing. SO GOOD!!!

And that's it. I became an instant fave with everyone who tasted these bad boys. Oh my stars, we're still happy dancing, and I re-made them this past Saturday for a family fish fry.


Happy people complain less. This is probably a Chinese proverb. If not, it should be. :)

And here's another peek at "Refuge of the Heart", my newest release with Franciscan Media, a picture taken by our own Cate Nolan...

Such a beautiful book.
Such a beautiful story.

And we've sent our sweetnesses off to Kindergarten!  Here's Elijah:

Megan and Brody, waiting for the bus:

And Mary Ruth:

A new time.... Look at those smiles! And all so smart, so precious, such gifts from God!

We went from holding them in our arms, feeding them, burping them, changing them, walking them, dancing, laughing, clapping, jumping, tying, giggling, learning, exploring, taping, sticking, gluing, coloring, gathering, collecting, decorating... and learning that King James was a meany pants who wouldn't let people go to their own church...

that God is their father, eternal and good...

Jesus is their brother, their friend in need....

And that the Holy Spirit is with them all of their days.

And that Grammy makes really good cookies.

It's been a great five years... and now I turn them over to someone else... at least for 6 hours a day!

Go with God, my lovelies.


  1. Oh yum, I'm putting this on my holiday baking list. For some reason I only make bars at Christmas time. Don't know why. I wonder if it would taste as good without the walnuts? I have a few nut allergy people in my life. Wonder if I could substitute something else. I'll still make the original recipe for the rest of us though. Yum.

    And so loved Refuge of the Heart, Ruthy. A book that incites change for sure.

    1. I missed Thursday, it was pumpkin picking day here and I forgot to come to the cafe! Luckily you all have keys! :)

      Kav, I'm so glad you loved Refuge of the Heart, and your review was nothing short of amazing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!

    2. Kav, I actually think the nuts aren't necessary. For holidays, I'll make these without nuts because we have a few nut allergies in the family, so why tempt fate? I was also thinking that if I have apple pie filling (like to cut up an extra apple or two when making crisp or pie) that could be used in place of the chocolate and nuts... to make apple pie/caramel bars. And I found out that baking these in my glass Pyrex pan, they came out better than in the dark metal pan. The dark metal cooked the bottom too quickly, so it was harder instead of being chewy, and in the glass pan, they came out perfectly chewy!

  2. Sweet children! Sweet recipe! I can't wait to make it. :)

    I hope they all have a wonderful kindergarten year.

    1. Well, so far, so good... although they're all good and tired! I've always been a half-day kindergarten fan. A whole day is long for a five year old. But modern times have outvoted this mother and grandmother!

  3. Oh, they're so precious! Such bright and shining faces!

    1. They are precious. And I love hearing their new tales, and I'm sure pretty soon they're going to realize their teacher is BRILLIANT and Ruthy and Mom know Nothing At All.

  4. I thought I commented on this yesterday, but apparently I was just drooling over the deliciousness.

    And the children. How precious!

    1. Well, I forgot to even come in to work, but my pumpkin display is fairly CRAZY AMAZING. :)