June 21, 2015

Caramel-Walnut Bars {& Happy Father's Day to My Dad!}

Yum
Caramel-Walnut Bars are easy to make, transport well, can be made in advance and frozen, and become beloved ooey-gooey deliciousness to pretty much everyone who encounters them.  That may just make them the darn-perfect sweet treat!

Caramel-Walnut Bars


In honor of Father's Day today, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk just a little about my Dad.  And to share one of Dad's favorite sweet treats, of course ... Caramel-Walnut Bars.


Just over a year ago ... March 8th, 2014, to be exact ... our family learned just how true the above quote is.  Life truly does change ... sometimes for the good, and sometimes for the not so good ... in the ordinary  instant.

Like in the ordinary instant of walking out to get the morning paper.
That morning of March 8th, Dad had walked down the driveway to pick up the newspaper ... just like always.  

Unfortunately, that morning ice from a huge storm the day before had not completely melted.  He slipped on a small patch of ice, falling straight back onto the concrete driveway.  He fractured his skull in two places, sustained a traumatic brain injury, and spent the next 29 days in the hospital.

We weren't sure if Dad would ever come home.  If he did, we weren't sure if he'd ever walk unassisted.  Or be 'himself.'  Nor were we sure of anything of what the future would hold, for that matter.

While Dad will never regain absolutely everything injured from his fall, I'm very happy to report that his is doing great.  With hard work and persistence on both his and Mom's part ... with physical therapy, {many many} doctors' appointments, 'brain games,' and working out at the Y to regain balance and strength ... Dad continues to make positive gains every day! 

Me and Dad playing a dice game called 'Farkel.'   It's one of the 'brain games' he plays every day.

 Mom & Dad hiding eggs for our family's annual Easter egg hunt.

So on this Father's Day, I hope Dad enjoys some ordinary moments ... some very calm, non-life-changing-for-the-not-so-good ordinary moments.

Like enjoying one of his favorite sweet treats, ooey-gooey Caramel-Walnut Bars.

Caramel-Walnut Bars

Which just so happen to be a favorite of pretty much everyone in the family, not just Dad.

Mom makes Caramel-Walnut Bars quite often, as do I.  They're pretty easy, they transport well, can be made in advance and frozen, and everyone who encounters them seems to love them.  I'd say that makes them a darn-near-perfect treat, wouldn't you?

 A little tip from all Mom's and my times making these ... the caramel can get a tad bit sticky.  Lining the baking pan with a foil 'sling' and then using that sling to lift the cooled bars from the pan helps a lot  with easily handling the caramel.

Caramel-Walnut Bars

Cutting the Caramel-Walnut Bars right on the foil sling allows you to lift them right back into the baking pan for storage, if you'd like, too.  Easy peasy!

Caramel-Walnut Bars

So while enjoying ooey-gooey Caramel-Walnut Bars may not be a majorly life-changing 'ordinary instant,' it's a calm, deliciously scrumptious, non-life-changing ordinary instant our family will take any  day!

Happy Father's Day to my Dad.  May he enjoy the happiest and most ordinary of days!!

Caramel-Walnut Bars
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Caramel-Walnut Bars
Source:  My Mom
(Printable recipe)
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c. + 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 c. packed dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 c. butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. caramel ice cream topping
  • 3/4 c. chopped walnuts
Directions
  1. Line an 8" or 9" square baking pan with foil, creating a 'sling' by allowing the ends of the foil to overhang the sides of the pan. Lightly grease foil.
  2. Combine the 1 cup flour, oats, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press about 1/2 of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the top looks dry and tiny cracks appear. Remove from oven and sprinkle with walnuts.
  4. Stir together caramel topping and remaining 1/4 cup flour until blended. Pour over walnuts, leaving about 1/2" to 1" border along the edges.
  5. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture and press down gently. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the edges bubble slightly. Cool for a bit on a wire rack.
  6. Using the edges of the foil 'sling,' lift bars from the baking pan. Pull foil back from the sides of the bars while they are still warm - otherwise, the caramel may harden onto to the foil. Refrigerate bars for 1 hour before cutting to make cutting easier. Cut into small squares.

5 comments:

  1. We love to play farkel! A bunch of us play it after most holiday meals. We also have a version called spicy farkel, but it gets a little contentious sometimes! ;-) These caramel-walnut bars look delicious! I hope your dad had a great Father's Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh goodness ... I'd love to hear more about Spicy Farkel! Thank you so much for stopping by, Carlee.

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  2. That looks absolutely scrumptious!! Thanks for sharing on showcase your talent!! Hey I would love if you came and shared your stuff at my blog hop...My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! I'd love to have you!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. thank you for sharing this yumminess at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. Watch for your feature on Monday xo

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  4. Looks so good!! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! This post has been pinned on the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! I love having you and can't wait to see you next week!

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments. I read and appreciate each and every one. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground! {NOTE: Captcha word verification is on to turn away the 'spambots' ... I apologize for the commenting inconvenience!}

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