Graham Cracker Caramel Bars

I was in the mood for something simple when I made these bars. I had a box of graham crackers that had been taking up space in my pantry for far too long, but I didn’t have anything to make a pie or a cheesecake or anything like that with, which is what you normally see graham cracker crumbs used for. I searched the Internet high and low, trying to figure out something to do with this box of graham crackers that I had. I finally found this recipe for ooey, gooey caramel bars with a graham cracker crust. I added in some raw peanuts for texture and toffee bits for an even more rich flavor. These taste like pure caramel heaven. It seems that these might be too sweet, but they really aren’t, considering what they are. There is a slight cinnamon flavor, too, which I think makes them wonderfully appropriate for the season. I added the white chocolate drizzle on top for a brighter flavor profile; it doesn’t hurt aesthetically, either! I would happily enjoy one of these on a cool autumn night with a hot cup of cider or hot chocolate – the perfect way to unwind after a long day at work!

On an unrelated note, be sure to check out my Curried Butternut Squash Post to see how you can win a trip home for the Holidays from Folgers!


Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
Your ingredients.

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
Pulse your graham crackers into fine crumbs. I used my food processor, but you can also use a blender. Separate the crumbs – you will need 3 cups for the crust, and 3/4 cups for the filling.

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
Combine your graham cracker crumbs with your butter, 1/4 cup white sugar, and 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
Beat them together until a dough forms, no more than a minute or so.

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
Press the dough into a 9×13 pan, preferably lined with parchment or foil so it is easy to lift out and cut when cooled, and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
Allow to cool a bit while you finish making the filling.

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
Beat together the 2 1/2 cups brown sugar and 4 eggs.

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
Beat in the graham cracker crumbs, vanilla extract, salt, and baking powder until smooth, then fold in the peanuts and toffee pieces, if using, by hand.

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
Pour the filling over the baked crust and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or so, until the filling is golden and mostly set, although it will still jiggle a bit when you shake the pan – it will solidify as it cools. If you’re worried about it not being set enough, cover with foil and continue baking, so that the top does not brown as fast.

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
When the bars are completely cool, melt your white chocolate in 30-second intervals in the microwave.

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
Place the white chocolate in a sealable bag, cut a tiny bit of the top off, and drizzle the white chocolate over the bars in a zig-zag motion.

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
Cut into bars when completely cooled.

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars

Graham Cracker Caramel Bars
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 28-32 bars
 
Ingredients
Crust
  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs (I believe I used about 2 sleeves for this)
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flours
Filling
  • 2½ cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs (I believe I used 4-5 graham crackers for this)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅔ cups raw peanuts (optional - or you can use any nut you like)
  • ¼ cup toffee bits (optional)
  • ⅓ cup white chocolate, melted
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor or blender, pulse your graham crackers into crumbs if you're not buying pre-bought crumbs (which you can do and speeds up the process). I used a little over 2 sleeves of graham crackers for this recipe.
  2. Beat the graham crackers, butter, sugar, and flour together until just moistened, until a dough forms. Line a 9x13 pan with foil or parchment paper, spray with a little Pam, and press the dough into the pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside until you have finished with the filling.
  3. Beat together the brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Beat in the ⅔ cup graham cracker crumbs, vanilla extract, salt, and baking powder. Fold in the peanuts and toffee by hand, if using them. Bake for 25 minutes or so, until the filling is golden and mostly set, although it will still jiggle a bit when you shake the pan - it will solidify as it cools. If you're worried about it not being set enough, cover with foil and continue baking, so that the top does not brown as fast.
  4. Allow the bars to cool COMPLETELY before drizzling with white chocolate or cutting into them. When they have cooled, melt your white chocolate in 30-second intervals until smooth, then place in a sealable bag, cut a small tip off of the corner, and drizzle in a zig-zag motion over the bars. Cut into squares and serve - I like serving bars like this in regular sized muffin cups for easy eating! Makes 28-32 bars.
Adapted From

 

25 Responses

  1. Jen says:

    Another delicious treat!

  2. Tina from PA says:

    I too have a box of graham crackers taking up space , and now I know what I’m going to do with them! Thanks for another great treat!

  3. Benita says:

    Sydney, our roommate will love making this recipe for Friday night treats, and I am going to make the sweet potato recipe from last week tonight tonight to roast with a new fresh vegetables for roasting compilation from Trader Joe’s, including asparagus, brussel sprouts and string beans. You are a delightful writer and sharer of recipes–thanks for your sunny, optimistic and realistic descriptions.

    PS Your Mom and Dad look like such lovely people. What are their favorite recipes? Can you recreate them and write about the times they were served?

    • Sydney says:

      Benita: Thank you so much! I am happy to share with you! My parents ARE lovely people. They like very simple food – grilled chicken, grilled salmon, and salads, mostly. There honestly aren’t a lot of recipes of theirs that I remember or anything, but that was of the era – lots of Shake n’ Bake, jarred pasta sauces, and the like. Now that I’m gone from home, though, my mom and dad are apparently quite the cooks! Of course they waited until I moved out! 😉

  4. Michelle says:

    Delicious! I was just looking at chocolate covered toffee bits at the grocery store the other day. Now I’m wishing I had bought them.

  5. Juliana says:

    These bars look awesome…I can have a couple of them just now…love how you decorated with white stripes :-)

  6. these look so good and are now on my thanksgiving to-do list. don’t mind me as i lick the screen.

  7. Rachel says:

    Just put them in the oven…they smell heavenly already! Can’t wait to bite into these.

  8. Wei-Wei says:

    Oh, that looks absolutely heavenly!

  9. these bars look delicious and addicting

  10. Oh those are so tempting. I love the way you use your pictures to lead into a grand finale. By the time you see the finished product you’re hooked. :) I am off to google Graham crackers. They don’t sell them here and all these tempting recipes requiring these infamous crackers are haunting me. We go to the Caribbean in January so maybe I can pick some up there. My husband is well used to my homeward bound suitcase being full of all sorts of strange food stuff.

    • Sydney says:

      Rhyleysgranny: I’m glad that my master plan is working! I think you can order them from Amazon or another website like that! I’ve seen recipes for homemade ones, but you need to experience the originals first! How fun to get a bunch of ingredients from such an exotic location!

  11. ingrid says:

    I saw these on Erin’s and have been meaning to give them a try. Good to hear you second their deliciousness!
    ~ingrid

  12. paula says:

    Thanks for sending me the recipe. I sampled them at a work function with your Mom. It’s kind of a funny story so I want to share it with you.
    There was only 1 left in the pan so I cut it in half…. walked away and took a bite OMG really yummy, so I went back to the pan and took the other half! :)
    I can hardly wait to make them for my family.

  13. I love you additions. It’s been a while since I had those and now I’m drooling over your photos thinking about them again!

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