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!

Best Dang Thing EVER bars – from my family – no idea where the original recipe is from – makes 36 bars1 package German chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup softened butter
1 egg
1/2 cup margarine or 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

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, 2×1 1/2 inches. About 36 bars.

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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12 Responses to “Best Dang Thing EVER Bars”

  1. #
    1
    HoneyB — September 9, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    This is a great post and I love that you and your sister made these together! You know its a favorite when you can make a recipe from memory! Thanks for participating :-)

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    Laura — September 9, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Awesome bars! You and your sister sound like me and my sister, so I loved this post extra for that. Great submission, thanks for participating.

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    Colleen — September 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Yum, these look SO good! And fairly easy – I will be making them soon!

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    stephchows — September 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Love the story that goes with these :) family recipes are the best!

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    Katie — September 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    OH YUM!! Those look so freakign gooooood!!

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    The American Homemaker — September 9, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Those look great!!!!!!!!!! MMmmmmm

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    Ingrid — September 9, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    I suppose if you were fond of chocolate they would be the best dang thing. I’d like the blonde version of this instead. :)

    You almost make me wish I had a sister instead of six brothers, almost. :)
    ~ingrid

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    Sara @ Our Best Bites — September 10, 2009 at 3:46 am

    oh my neighbor makes these and they are SO good! Mmmm I’m wishing I had one right about now, thanks for sharing the recipe!

    (also glad you enjoyed the taquitos!)

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    Justin — September 11, 2009 at 12:07 am

    whoa, a whole pack of caramels? this sounds amazing

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    madebymel — September 11, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Oh.my.gosh! I bet these really are the best dang thing ever! I can’t wait to make these to bring to work!

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    Karen - Mommy to four sweeties — September 18, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I wonder if these can be made with a plain chocolate cake mix since I don’t have a german chocolate one on hand.

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    Jen — September 20, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    I would think any chocolate cake mix would work

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