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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13 Responses to “Chocolate M&M Cookies”

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    1
    Katie — October 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Jen, I totally love your blog. You always ahve the BEST treats! I LOVE the picture with all the cookies resting on the m&ms. GREAT idea! 🙂

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    Jigginjessica — October 21, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Looks beautiful as always!

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    stephchows — October 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    perfect use of pink! So interesting about how the cookies reacted to the way you rolled them! Thanks for the heads up!

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    oneordinaryday — October 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Your cookies look great and that’s a good tip about getting them to look their best too. My kids and all their friends love these cookies. I’ve made them a few times since I first posted them and they never last long.
    thanks for the link!
    ~ Michelle

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    Chocolate Shavings — October 21, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Those are beautiful and perfect for such a great cause

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    The Novice Chef — October 21, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    What an adorable picture! Also helps that they are for a great cause! 🙂

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    Natalie — October 21, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    M&Ms are my favorite treat and I love that during this month everything is PINK! The cookies look fantastic.

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    Kat — October 21, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I am bummed I missed your Power of Pink contest as I was utilizing October to raise awareness around breast cancer too! I made some cookies and have a post on my site: http://katskitchenplace.blogspot.com/2009/10/october-is-breast-cancer-awareness.html
    I like the chocolate cookie base of your cookies! Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to checking back and seeing all what people make towards your challenge 🙂

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    tastestopping — October 21, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    A chocolate cookie topped with chocolate candies? What could be better? Perhaps a tall, ice cold glass of milk to go with them! They look divine. I’m wondering if you might skip the rolling and flattening by creating a wide log of dough (without M&Ms), slicing to the thickness desired, then pressing candies on top? Seems like the dough might be fairly easy to shape into a log. A quick pop into the fridge before slicing would help firm it up. Just a thought! I can’t wait to try them.

    Best,
    Casey
    http://www.tastestopping.wordpress.com

    P.S. Not sure if I’ve invited you before, but I’d love to publish any of your photos that FoodGawker and TasteSpotting decline! Thanks. 😀

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    nutmegnanny — October 23, 2009 at 3:15 am

    I love the dark chocolate and pink M&M contrast. What fantastic cookies:)

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    natalie — February 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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    natalie — February 25, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I just made your recipe for these cookies yesterday and took them to church. The kids went nuts and they’ve never turned out as pretty as they did this time. Thanks for the helpful tips because my m&m cookies have never turned out prettier! 9 minutes was also perfect timing as well.

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    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — December 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Both pretty and I’m sure delicious! I love how you showed the comparison between batches to give better suggestions for prettier cookies. The final batch are definitely the prettiest of the bunch. I love that the pink pops w/the chocolate cookie.

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