With the end of school here, and the lazy days of summer upon us, I decided I wouldn't cook or entertain as much to see if it would give me extra time. Its only been a few days but I do feel like I have a lot more time and energy for other things around the house - closets, desks and garages have been tidied and organized - with piles being erected for charity, the trash and my flea market booth. Without the recipe finding, list making, grocery shopping, preparing, cooking and cleaning up, it seems as if there are definitely more hours in the day.
However, I thrive on entertaining and cooking - and took a break from cleaning today to make these bars for my husband and oldest son to take to boy scouts tonight to share.
CINNAMON CARAMEL SWIRL BARS
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 package (14 ounces) caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup milk
Heat oven to 350F.
Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. Mix sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and pecans until well blended. Stir in flour mixture. Reserve 1 cup of batter. Spread remaining batter in greased, foil lined 13 by 9 inch baking pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until firm.
Microwave caramels and milk in microwavable bowl on high, 2 to 3 minutes or until caramels are melted, stirring after every minute.
Cool about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour over baked layer in pan, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edges. Drop reserved batter by spoonfuls over caramel layer. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until center is set.
Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars.