Oooohs, aaaahs and mmmmmmms will be all that you hear from your friends and families when they bite into these oh-so-delicious layered bars.
I have been making these for years and the recipe is adapted from a recipe I found on a condensed milk can (Eagle Brand , I think). I call them "triple threats" because of the chocolate, peanut butter and caramel oozing from every bite of these decadent treats. They are not for anyone watching their waist line (well, unless you are watching it expand!) - butter, condensed milk, chocolate, caramel, peanut butter ... my mouth is watering ... definitely makes for a bit of a calorie nightmare but we all need a treat once in awhile! A small square or two is worth an extra workout this week. Don't you agree?
Triple Threat Bars
1/2 cup butter
1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups coconut
1 can condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
3/4 cup peanut butter
1.5 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup mini peanut butter cups
1 cup soft caramels (maybe 20 prepackaged caramels such as Kraft)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Place butter in 9 x 13 pan and melt in oven.
2. Remove pan from oven.
3. Sprinkle graham wafer crumbs evenly in pan.
4. Sprinkle coconut evenly in pan.
5. Pour condensed milk evenly over coconut.
6. Place back in oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
7. About 5 minutes before taking out pan, melt peanut butter and chocolate chips in small sauce pan over low heat. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
8. Pour peanut butter and chocolate mixture over hot base.
9.Cool 10 minutes and then sprinkle mini peanut butter cups and cut up caramels evenly over bars. If desired run a knife through caramels once they have had a few minutes to melt to spread out a bit.
I had made a batch of pistachio caramels that turned out too hard so I melted them down with a bit of cream and used them in this recipe. I'm sure premade soft caramels would work too - I would just cut them in half and sprinkle on top while still warm so they will melt. Dollups of ice cream sundae butterscotch would work if you are serving them on a plate as a dessert but the sauce would be a bit too messy if you were to serve them as a cookie bar meant to be picked up with your hands.