I enjoy baking my family’s favorite holiday treats at this time of year, including these amazing Caramel Candy Bar Cookies. They’re a bit of cookie and a bit of candy in a single dessert. We love them, and I’m happy to be partnering with the National Candy Association to talk about enjoying confections like this in moderation.
Candy has always been a part of our holiday traditions. When we put our Christmas tree up, we have a candy cane scavenger hunt before hanging them on the tree, and I’m definitely part of the 85 percent of Americans (according to the NCA) who give sweet treats for gifts.
As with everything in life, candy and treats should be enjoyed in moderation, so when I make these caramel candy bar cookies, I cut them into very small pieces. I’ve always found that the first bite of any food is the most satisfying bite, so small servings are the way to go!
Oh, and my candy cane Christmas tree tradition? Well, the candy canes are free for the taking once they’ve been put on the tree, but only at a one-a-day rate. A traditional peppermint candy cane (which is what I use) is only 55 calories, so it’s another great way to enjoy seasonal sweets in moderation.
In fact, according to the NCA, most Americans enjoy candy 2-3 times a week with an average of just 40 calories and a single teaspoon of sugar coming from those confections. Read more at www.candyusa.com
Caramel Candy Bar Cookies
- 1½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1½ cups butter, softened
- 1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
- 1 cup crisped rice cereal
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 35 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
- ⅓ cup milk
- 14 oz candy-coated chocolate pieces
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray.
- Combine brown sugar and butter; beat until smooth. Stir in oats and cereal. Add flour, baking soda and salt; mix until well blended. Reserve 1 cup of mixture for topping; set aside.
- Press remaining mix into bottom of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in small pan on stove, heat caramels and milk over low heat, stirring constantly until melted and smooth.
- Remove partially baked crust from oven. Sprinkle with 1 cup of candy-coated chocolate pieces. Drizzle with melted caramel, avoiding the sides of pan.Drop reserved oat mixture by heaping spoonfuls over the top. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate pieces.
- Return to oven. Bake 20-25 minutes or until center is set and top is golden brown. Cool 1 hour.
I wish you the happiest of holidays filled with love, laughter and delicious sweet treats in moderation (like these caramel candy bar cookies). Happy Holidays!