I’ve always loved the bars with many layers. They go by many different names but usually they’re called 7 Layer Bars. This recipe has 7 layers, and I was pleased one of the layers wasn’t coconut. I’m not a coconut fan unless it’s toasted on a Girl Scout cookie. You know those cookies. I could probably eat an entire box in one sitting. Ok I did that once. I ate lettuce sprinkled with water for the rest of the week.
Anyway, these Magic Turtle Bars were the result of having so many bags of Kraft caramel bits to use. My P.S. had a wild idea that more was better and bought 5 or 6 bags for me to use for baking. His reasoning was that I “always complain about peeling caramels” around the holidays for baking. Since the bits didn’t require peeling, I should be happy. That part was correct.
So here I was wanting to use little bits of caramel and the layer bars were a great idea. I needed to nip over to the grocery store and get the Nilla Vanilla wafers and I was ready to assemble my new bars.
I put most of the box of wafers into my food processor and pulsed until they were crumbs. I measured and it was just slightly over 2 cups. I poured the crumbs into a bowl with the melted butter and stirred well. I patted them into a 9×13-in baking pan I’d sprayed with cooking spray and my crust was finished.
I have to apologize for not taking pictures until I had all of the layers made. It was another day I was cooking with my cousin Shirley and we end up chatting and I lose track of taking my blogging photos. I think with this recipe you can do without a photo for each step, however. It’s pretty easy.
Over the crust you layer the first bag of chocolate chips, half of the pecans, the caramel bits, the second bag of chocolate chips and the rest of the pecans. Over those layers you slowly pour the sweetened condensed milk. It will seem like it is not enough milk but it does cover the whole pan if you pour slowly and carefully.
I slid the pan into my preheated 350°F oven and set a timer for 25 minutes.
When the timer went off the bars weren’t browned around the edges yet. At 30 minutes they were beginning to brown and I removed the pan from the oven. The smell was heavenly!
I let the pan set on a rack the counter to cool and firm up and wow did they get firm! They were very difficult to cut. The caramel bits on the top layer got very firm and were hard to cut through and to chew. The bars were delicious but a lot of work to eat!
I think next time I’d melt the caramel bits with a bit of milk or cream and drizzle it over the top of the finished bars. Since I still have a few bags of caramel bits, I will probably try it and update this recipe when I do.
Magic Turtle Bars
A many layered bar with chocolate, caramel and pecans.
- 2 cups crushed Nilla Vanilla wafers
- 1/2 cup butter melted (1 stick)
- 2 bags semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1-2 bags Kraft Caramel Bits (I used 1 1/2)
- 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans; divided into 1 cup + 1 cup
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
Lightly spray or grease a 9×13-in baking pan.
Combine crushed cookies and butter until well mixed and spread over the bottom of the prepared pan. Press down to form a crust.
Layer the rest of the ingredients: 1 bag chocolate chips, caramel bits, 1 cup pecans, second bag of chocolate chips, remaining pecans.
Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the entire pan, making sure to cover it completely.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, just until edges begin to brown.Let cool on a rack completely before cutting.
Store in airtight container. If refrigerated, bring them back to room temperature before serving.
Adapted from Chocolate, Chocolate and More