Best Dang Thing EVER Bars

My sister B was in town for the long weekend and we decided to spend her first day in town shopping all day. It’s always a blast to shop with her because we both have very different tastes, but we get each other to try on things we never would otherwise. And we both always come home with a ton of bags. I usually take a picture of the stuffed trunk, but forgot to this year…

For the second day she was in town, we decided bake together. I love it when she comes to visit because we always have a great time. We talk almost daily and it’s good to be able to talk to her in person instead of over the phone/email/texting. These bars are her favorite and she knows the recipe by heart. In fact, the whole family loves these things. What else would you expect with a name like Best Dang Thing Ever Bars!?!

I finally got the story out of B about where that name came from… When B was a freshmen in college, she had to give a speech that was a demo. Of course, she decided to demo making these bars. She ended the speech with something like “and that is how you make the best dang thing you’ve ever tasted bars”. She even brought in some of the finished product to share with her class. Of course they agreed that these bars really are one of the best things you’ve ever tasted.

I’m not sure exactly where this recipe comes from, since my mom had clipped it out from a magazine or something and it was just in her pile of recipes since forever. We never made this when I was young, but ever since B went to college, we make these every year when we’re together at the holidays. They’re very rich and chocolatey, so we always cut them into small bars. Have a glass of milk ready when you serve these!

I am submitting this recipe for the blogging event Family Recipes hosted by The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch and The Spiced Life. To enter, make a recipe that is a family recipe and talk about memories connected with it.

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Best Dang Thing EVER bars

Yield: 36 bars

Ingredients:

1 package German chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup softened butter
1 egg

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 package (14 ounces) caramels

3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/2 cup chocolate ready-to-spread frosting
3-4 tsp water

Directions:

Heat oven to 350.

Mix cake mix (dry), softened butter, and egg until crumbly; reserve 1 1/2 cups. Press remaining crumbly mixture in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.

Bake until crust appears dry, 10 to 12 minutes; cool 10 minutes.

Heat butter, milk, and caramels over low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramels are melted. (We do this while the crumbly mixture is baking). Pour over crust; sprinkle with nuts and reserved crumbly mixture.

Bake until crumbly mixture appears dry and begins to brown, 25 to 30 minutes; cool.

Make glaze by mixing frosting with water one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency.

Drizzle with glaze. Loosen edges of bars with spatula; refrigerate until caramel mixture becomes firm, about 1 hour. Cut into bars, 2x1 1/2 inches.

Recipe from my family - no idea where the original recipe is from...

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19 Responses to “Dairy Free Chocolate Cookies ‘N Cream Ice Cream”

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    1
    Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles — January 22, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Yum that looks delicious and welcome back to my hometown! Cincinnati’s actually a great town that grows on you and has been evolving quite a bit in the time that you’ve been away. I suspect given your profession and work location history that we probably work for the same company as our day jobs ;).

    • beantownbaker — January 23rd, 2013 @ 8:30 am

      Yes, Cincinnati has changed a LOT since we moved away in 2007.

      I would suspect you’re right. There’s enough info to know where I work, especially if you work here too 😉 Going to go check out your blog now. I would love to meet some other Cincinnati area bloggers!

    • beantownbaker — January 23rd, 2013 @ 8:31 am

      Ok I work for the *other* big company in town (just checked your About page).

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    Eva @ Eva Bakes — January 23, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Isn’t the KA ice cream attachment the best thing ever? I am always making ice cream, even in the wintertime, but I never thought of using canned coconut milk as the base. I’ll have to try this out soon!

    • beantownbaker — January 23rd, 2013 @ 11:37 am

      Absolutely. I didn’t think I could love my KAM any more than I already did. The ice cream attachment proved that I can.

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    Cara — January 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I have lots of cans of coconut milk laying around and I know they make a good ice cream! Adding this one to my list 🙂

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    tracy {pale yellow} — January 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    I bought myself KA ice creamer maker for my birthday this summer and I adore it! I’ve been thinking about making non-dairy ice creams, but the recipes all sounded strange. It’s great to see a recipe from a trusted source. Can’t wait to try.

    • beantownbaker — January 23rd, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

      Let me know what you think if you try it. I am going to be experimenting with different milks since I can’t have cow’s milk…

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    Shannon — January 24, 2013 at 11:08 am

    love coconut milk based ice creams!! this one looks fabulous, and good call throwing in those oreos 😉

    • beantownbaker — January 24th, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

      It’s ALWAYS a good idea to throw oreos in 🙂

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    Sabine — January 29, 2013 at 12:07 am

    My brother’s favorite thing to get at Coldstone is chocolate oreo ice cream. Too bad I don’t have an ice cream maker, or I would definitely try this!

    • beantownbaker — January 29th, 2013 @ 7:51 am

      I’ve been told you can make ice cream without an ice cream maker. I never tried it before I got mine though…

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    Mary — January 31, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I just made your recipe and luckily I tasted it before I cooled it. The ratio of sugar to cocoa powder is off. You should use at least twice the amount of sugar to cocoa powder in order for it not to have a horribly bitter taste. After adding more sugar it had a nice sweet to chocolately balance. Thanks for the recipe, my daughter is lactose intolerant and she will enjoy it.

    • beantownbaker — January 31st, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

      I am glad you were able to adjust this recipe to suit your needs. Hubby and I both enjoyed the sweetness level of this recipe. I’m sure different cocoa powders have different levels of sweetness. I plan to try this recipe without the cocoa powder to make vanilla ice cream too. We loved the creaminess of it!

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    Efrain Stamper — March 11, 2013 at 3:08 am

    This look yummy and chocolate ice cream is one of my favorite. Thanks for sharing the directions and ingredients.

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    Sara — April 24, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I just opened a can of coconut milk and it looked extremely curdled. I shook it a lot but it was still completely curdled. Is that how coconut milk is supposed to be out of the can? Are there any brands that you specifically like to use?

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    Raigon — October 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Oh how I wish I could try this.. I am currently gluten and dairy free.. However this being dairy free is is not gluten free with the oreo’s… Bummer!!

    • beantownbaker — October 23rd, 2013 @ 12:28 am

      I’ve made this recipe again without the Oreos and it’s really good. Not quite as good as with the Oreos, but if you wanted to make it gluten free, just leave them out.

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