I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that our little family has recently moved, and although we didn’t move far (only about 10 minutes from where we were living previously), it kind of threw us into a different area in terms of grocery store, restaurant and pizza options. That means we’re ordering pizza from multiple locations to see which one we like the best, figuring out which places are the best for take out, and, maybe most importantly, I’m trying to orient myself with a different grocery store so that it doesn’t take me two hours to shop.
The week that we moved in, my mom was here helping us unpack and she ran out to the grocery store to pick up a few things for us. She stopped at a local bakery on her way back to get an assortment of sweets and, oh my gosh, talk about insane. I had been to the bakery before, but I forgot how amazing the desserts are. I couldn’t stop eating their chocolate caramel bar, which is a five-layer bar, which is basically a magic bar on steroids. I immediately tried to figure out how to recreate it at home.
My first attempt was a disaster, but this next one was fabulous and I think it’s pretty darn close to those insanely delicious bars. The base is a brown sugar shortbread crust, on top of which I poured a can of sweetened condensed milk, a la magic bars. I then topped the milk with chopped pecans, coconut, caramel and chocolate chips. They’re not quite as epic-looking as the ones from the bakery, but they are every bit as delicious.
The fact that I could stop at that bakery every time I go to the grocery store is totally dangerous!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to hang over all sides.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour and mix until crumbly. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake until the edges are light golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, then sprinkle the chopped pecans over the crust, and top with the shredded coconut. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over top, then drizzle with the melted caramel sauce. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and return to the oven until the edges are light brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares. The bars can be kept at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.