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Peanut Butter Caramel Bars

When my husband and our three sons sit down to dinner, they ask, "What's for dessert?" I have a happy group of guys when I report that these rich bars are on the menu. They're chockfull of yummy ingredients. —Lee Ann Karnowski, Stevens Point, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    about 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 20 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 jar (12-1/4 ounces) caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts
  • TOPPING:
  • 1 can (16 ounces) milk chocolate frosting
  • 1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, butter and egg; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes or until no longer crumbly. Stir in peanut butter cups.
  • Press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the cornstarch, caramel topping and peanut butter; stir until smooth. Cook over low heat for 25-27 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil; stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; stir in peanuts.
  • Spread evenly over warm crust. Bake 6-7 minutes longer or until almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Spread with frosting; sprinkle with peanuts. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.
Editor's Note
Reduced-fat peanut butter is not recommended for this recipe.

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