Cinnamon Caramel Swirl Bars

Isn’t Mother’s Day great? I’ve always thought it was a fun holiday, and that was even before I became a mom. I have to say, it’s even better now. I woke up this morning (very late) to fresh flowers, waffles, a new book, and two tickets to see Pink Martini.

Honestly, Eric could have stopped after the sleeping in and the flowers and I would have been quite content. Now, after making me an elaborate dinner (Barbacoa Beef! I will share the recipe later this week), he is lying around moaning about how tired he is and how he doesn’t know how I do it every day. (I just keep my mouth shut and don’t mention that since I never do any dishes and rarely clean anything, it’s really not that hard being a stay at home mom.)

Charlotte’s aunt Britta knit that giraffe for her. Yes, she is amazing.

Here’s my little Charlotte. Her smiles make every diaper and tantrum worth it. That awesome dress was sewn by her great-grandma Georgia, who was quite an amazing woman. She made it a good 30 years ago, for my older sister Nikki. I love it. It’s pretty easy to find your toddler when she’s the only one at church who looks like she just stepped off the pioneer handcart. I told a friend at church that my Grandma had sewn the dress, and he said, Well the minute I saw it I knew you hadn’t exactly gotten it at Baby Gap.

Okay, so these bars. Kind of indescribable, but here goes. I brought these to a barbecue last week and everyone forgot about them until we had finished eating and were completely stuffed. I opened them up anyway, and the pan was literally half gone in less than 5 minutes. One of my friends said that they taste like straight up brown sugar. Which is essentially what they are. Plus cinnamon and caramel. How is it that I have never even thought of combining cinnamon and caramel? It’s a fabulous idea. Good luck keeping your hands off these goobers. We are on our second batch already. Happy Mother’s Day to all you mom’s out there, and especially to you Mom!

Cinnamon Caramel Swirl Bars

Source: adapted from

2 ¼ cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1 ½  tablespoons vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (optional; I left them out)
1 package (14 ounces) caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and pecans in large bowl until well blended. Add flour mixture; mix well. (Add pecans now if you are using them.) Reserve 1/3 of the batter. Spread remaining batter into lightly greased foil-lined 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until center is set.

Meanwhile, microwave caramels and milk in microwavable bowl for 2 or 3 minutes, or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after every minute. Cool 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour over baked layer in pan, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edges. Drop reserved batter by spoonfuls over caramel layer. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Lift from pan. Cut into bars.


6 thoughts on “Cinnamon Caramel Swirl Bars

  1. the beauty of that dress is that it’s also indestructable, being made from that popular 80’s fabric, double-knit polyester – you’d know it if you ever felt it :) but it looks adorable on charlotte!

    my memory of eating these bars is enough to make me both smile a lot, and drool just a little…

  2. Pingback: Chipotle Black Bean Pizza with Goat Cheese and Avocados | The Food Charlatan

  3. Pingback: Top 20 Recipes of 2012 | The Food Charlatan

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