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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15 Responses to “Homemade Milky Way Candy Bars”

  1. #
    1
    KV — October 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    those look good too. Are homemade butterfingers next? I have a recipe I’m going to try out soon.

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    2
    Jen — October 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Butterfingers would be tasty, but I’ve got something else coming on Friday…

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    3
    amanda @ fake ginger — October 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    OH YUM! I really want to try these but I’m horrible at dipping things too.

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    4
    oneordinaryday — October 21, 2010 at 12:25 am

    This is exactly what my son’s been asking me to do. You’re making it hard to say no – they look perfect!

  5. #
    5
    Kimmy Bingham — October 21, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Why do you tempt me so? Milky Ways are my favorites. This is so worth trying 🙂

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    Smitten Sugar — October 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Yum these look delicious! I love Milky ways

  7. #
    7
    Eliana — October 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Well they look pretty perfect to me! And super delicious too.

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    8
    Kerstin — October 22, 2010 at 4:11 am

    I’m so intrigued by the cool whip/chocolate mixture for the filling! These look so yummy and addicting!

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    9
    Miss Yunks — October 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    These look so cute and much easier than the milky ways and snickers I made a few months ago. I made mine in muffin wrappers so I didn’t dip them, just layered the chocolate, nougat, caramel, and chocolate! They came out pretty tasty but was a lot of work!

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    10
    Rachael Pergler — October 26, 2010 at 1:31 am

    I just tried these and they didn’t come out as I’d hoped. The chocolate and whipped cream mix was too sticky and wouldn’t harden. Did I do something wrong? Also what if you can’t find kraft caramel?

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    11
    Jen — October 26, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Rachael – Sorry to hear they didn’t turn out for you. The center part was a bit sticky while dipping and wasn’t super hard… Any caramel would work for this recipe, I just use the Kraft kind that comes individually wrapped.

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    12
    K — November 2, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I would put melted chocolate in the pan first, freeze, then the chocolate mixture, then the caramel. Then you can spoon melted chocolate on top. Would this work? (It solves the dipping problem too!)

    • beantownbaker — November 3rd, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

      That could definitely work… The caramel might ooze out when you gut them though… Let me know how it goes if you try it.

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    Rick — October 31, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I hope you are not using Cool Whip which is all trans-fat and high fructose corn syrup. I’m looking for a healthier alternative to the store bought Milky Way. Perhaps a recipe for homemade whip ?

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    14
    Linda — December 23, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    These were a DISASTER. I wasted my morning and a lot of ingredients. The chocolate mixture was so sticky when cutting into squares. The directions did not state whether to add water to the caramels when melting so I didn’t…the caramels ended up thick and so sticky, I had trouble putting it on the chocolate layer. Dumped the whole mess out since I didn’t want to waste a bag of milk chocolate chips to coat them. I have been baking my entire life (60 +) and never had a recipe go like that.

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