RECIPE: Gests's peanut butter bars a hit for the literary set

Sue Ohlswager described it as an ewwy, gooey manna from heaven. It was the hit of last weekend's East Texas Handbell Ensemble.

It was so popular that a visitor from Austin asked Mrs. Gest for the recipe on the spot. I haven't tried it but can't wait. Mrs. Gest decided to make it because she had some left over caramel ice cream topping that she didn't want to go to waste.

She said, "The recipe made me nervous because it was the first time I made it and I never do that." Meaning Mrs. Gest never brings a dish somewhere without testing it first.

Many were glad they were the guinea pigs for this one. Mrs. Gest said she got the recipe out of either a Germania or Farmer's Insurance booklet that she gets in the mail.
Peanut Butter Carmel Bars
1 package (18 1 /2 oz) yellow
cake mix
1 /2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
20 miniature peanut butter
cups, chopped
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1 jar (12 1 /2 oz) caramel ice
cream topping
1 /4 cup peanut butter
1 /2 cup salted peanuts

1 can (16 oz) milk chocolate
1 /2 cup salted nuts, chopped

Combine cake mix, butter and egg in a mixing bowl. Beat until no longer crumbly (3 minutes). Stir in chopped peanut butter cups. Press mixture into a greased 13 X 9 X 2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degree for 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile in a sauce pan combine cornstarch, caramel topping and peanut butter until smooth. Cook over low heat stirring occasionally until mixture boils (25 minutes). Cook and stir 1-2 minutes longer.

Remove from heat and stir in peanuts. Spread evenly over warm crust.

Bake 6-7 minutes longer or until almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack in the pan. Spread with frosting and sprinkle with peanuts. Refrigerate for one hour before cutting. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 3 dozen bars.

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2009-11-26 digital edition

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