It’s time for another
This is a funtastic recipe challenge from Julie at This Gal Cooks and Carrie at Frugal Foodie Mama. The challenge is to use the chosen booze to make anything other than a drink, and the for this go-round we had to use a fall beer! This challenge was very, well, challenging to me because I really don’t like beer. Here is a picture of me the last time I actually consumed an entire glass of the stuff:
That was almost 4 years ago, on my 30th birthday. I’m going to be 34 in a little less than a month. Ugh. Anyway, the birthday was awesome, the beer was raspberry wheat and it was… tolerable. Most times, when my boyfriend insists that I try a sip of whatever beer he is drinking I end up having to gargle with a chocolate cupcake just to get the taste out of my mouth. This beer didn’t make me run for the nearest bakery, but I didn’t ENJOY drinking it.
So, to create an awesome tasting recipe with a seasonal beer sounded like a daunting task. However, I think I got lucky when I stumbled upon Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat beer in the liquor store. It still tastes like beer, but it also tastes a lot like apple. I might actually slightly like it. Maybe. It still does taste like beer, after all.
Regardless, it doesn’t really matter what it tastes like straight from the bottle because when it’s mixed together with a can of sweetened condensed milk and drizzled over top of yummy things like pumpkin cake and Caramel Apple Milky Way bars you end up with a magic bar fittingly described as “disgustingly good.”
“This is the best thing I’ve ever had!”
“I don’t normally like sweets but those magic bars are really good.”
“Oh My God! This smells delicious!”
Many thanks to my coworkers for being my guinea pigs, although in this case I get the feeling I was the one doing them a favor. Everyone was raving about these bars.
These bars were inspired by a recipe that I had pinned from The Domestic Rebel for Samoa Magic Bars. I have yet to try the original recipe but Hayley’s stuff is always awesome, and how can anything soaked in sweetened condensed milk be bad? There are quite a few magic bar recipes out there any everyone seems to go nuts over them, so I took the basic concept and ran with it.
Pumpkin Caramel Apple Magic Bars
Adapted from Samoa Magic Bars by The Domestic Rebel
1 box of Perfectly Pumpkin Cake Mix from Pillsbury
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup Kraft Caramel Bits
1 and 1/2 cups Harvest Blend M&M’s, divided
1 cup chopped Caramel Apple Milky Way Miniatures (about 20 wrapped pieces)
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat Beer
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, spray the foil lightly with cooking spray and set aside. (I used a metal, nonstick pan. The baking times may vary if you use glass.)
2. In a large bowl combine the cake mix, egg and butter until a soft dough forms. Press the dough evenly in the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. While the dough is baking, mix the 2 tablespoons of beer and the can of sweetened condensed milk together in a small bowl. If you haven’t done so already, now is also the time to chop your Milky Way bars into small chunks.
4. Remove the pan from the oven and pour about 3/4 of the sweetened condensed milk/beer mixture on top of the cake. Next, evenly cover the cake with the caramel bits, chopped Milky Way bars and 1 cup of the M&M’s. Drizzle the remaining sweetened condensed milk on top.
5. Return to the oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. I’m not sure you can tell that it’s done just by looking at it since it’s covered in melted candy. I took mine out at 15 minutes and it was done. You can leave it in a bit longer if you like, just keep an eye on the condensed milk to make sure it doesn’t start to brown too much.
6. Remove from the oven. Let cool for about five minutes and then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of M&M’s on top. Allow the bars to set at room temperature until cool before cutting into bars. I stored mine overnight in a covered container in the refrigerator before taking them in to work the next day, but according to the original recipe these will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for several days. They won’t last that long though, so you don’t need to worry about it!
These bars are fantastic. The apple beer brings a wonderful flavor to the sweetened condensed milk, and the pumpkin and caramel apple – each a great fall flavor in its own right – combine to make on hell of a sweet treat. The recipe can also be made without the beer for those not old enough to imbibe and it would still taste fantastic! This is definitely something to make to feed a crowd. If I hadn’t taken this in to work to share I’d probably still be in a sugar coma on my couch. It would have been worth it though… : )