Texas Sheet Cake & Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars!

I know, I know… I’m the worst blogger ever! I’ve been so bad at sitting down and writing. But really good at taking half the month of October off to drink, eat and be merry all over God’s creation!  From London to Palm Beach to Chicago.  I’m having a marvelous time!  After 5 nights and 6 days in Palm Beach, and losing my driver’s license and laptop while there, but then finding both…and enjoying one of the most fabulous weddings I’ve ever been to, I finally arrived home in Chicago late Monday night.  And I think I just stopped sweating from the Palm Beach humidity about an hour ago…ha!  But seriously…It was dewy out there. Gorgeous, but dewy.  I actually had to leave the dance floor at one point to run up to my hotel room to blow dry my hair.  I was real pretty… Haha!  By the way, if ever in Palm Beach a visit to The Breakers Hotel is a MUST! The wedding was at The Colony, which is a lovely boutique hotel,  but we had a drink and lunch at The Breakers the afternoon before the wedding, and it’s absolutely stunning! Over looking the ocean and an historic landmark… just fabulous.  Bring  your wallet and make sure you have enough in your bank account to cover it.

At any rate, before I left last week for the wedding, I managed to get all of my real-job work & events in, pack for Florida, and bake for the Bears Thursday Treat Day before I took off.  I knew that I wanted to send something chocolate, something easy but from scratch, and something that yielded many servings so that I didn’t have to double the recipe just in case I  ran short on time… and the perfect solution to that is TEXAS SHEET CAKE!  It’s been around for a long time, and I remember making it for the team only once in the past 8 seasons…and whatever recipe I used that year, I show in my notebook that it was a “hit” and had put a star next to it.  The only thing I didn’t note was the actual recipe that I used.  (I’ve never been a strong note-taker). What the heck.  So, I started from ground zero in search of a good recipe, with 5-stars and many reviews that had actually said they made the cake.  I came upon this one, and I liked it because it called for sour cream vs. buttermilk which so many other recipes called for.  I am sure the Buttermilk recipes are good, but I didn’t have buttermilk on hand so my decision was made based on the reviews and sour cream.  And it did not disappoint! My brother texted me and said “Great job on the Treats!” and my sister Barb, who helped with the delivery of the treats for me last week got the overflow of my chocolate chip cookies and Texas Sheet Cake said it was so good and she wanted the recipe.  So here you have it, and I didn’t change a thing.  As always, I used salted butter & Daisy Sour Cream:The Best Texas Sheet Cake

And then today was Thursday Treat Day Week 8 at Halas Hall, and my brother and I talked on Tuesday and he specifically requested Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars for this week.  I personally love this recipe. I remember the first time sending it to Halas Hall and being so worried that it was too salty… it was the year that “salted caramel” everything was all over the internet in recipes.  He texted me and said that people and players were asking where these bars came from.  I have made them several times over the years for friends and families. I’ve even had requests from friends of friends.  They are that good.  Today, my buddy Jack in the Video Department commented that he “just scarfed down 2 of em”.  I brought just 5 or 6 extras that didn’t fit in my Bears bins to the office and my colleague Amelia said, and I quote, “Dude those chocolate caramel bars were lit!”  Yes, she is half my age and one of my best critics at the office…she has told me in the past when my Peanut Butter Chocolate Shortbread bars were just “okay, and don’t make them for the Bears”. So I was super excited to hear that my bars today were “lit”!  Love it!!!  The Brown Eyed Baker is the gal to thank for the recipe. She is one of my favorites…everything I’ve tried from her site has been incredible! Including her Jalepeno Popper Dip!  I don’t change a thing to her Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bar recipe, except I use Salted Butter.  And I always use Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips & Kraft Caramels.  So here is the recipe:  Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

I hope you enjoy the recipes if you do decide to make them.  If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me.

Thank you so much for reading my blog… And GO BEARS!!!

 

Published by

Sarah

2018 will mark my 7th Season making treats and baking for the Chicago Bears. You might be thinking, how does one land that gig? Well, let me tell you. It’s riveting… My younger brother, Danny, works full-time for the Bears. Our entire family have been life-long Bears fans, btw. Back in the summer of 2012, he came to me and said, “Hey, we need someone to make treats for the team. Do you think you can do it? Because my boss said, Dan, you’ve got all those sisters, can’t one of them bake? So, I volunteered you.” My first response was, “YES, but I don’t know how to bake”. I mean, up until that point, the only things I remember ever baking were 1) S’mores Bars back in the 80’s off a recipe on the back of the Golden Grahams cereal box. Come to think of it now, I don’t even think those things went into the oven – so technically that wasn’t baking. And 2) Good old Nestle Toll House cookies – which NEVER turned out the same each time I baked them and it drove me nuts and got me to HATE baking for that very reason. I was always in love with cooking, though. I was the gal who threw dinner parties often and provided an obnoxious array of hors d’oeuvres and wine – that’s more my thing. Side note: I learned the hard way that baking and wine don’t mix. Ha! However, I was honored and excited to have been asked to step up to the plate for this little baking / treat-making gig, for THE CHICAGO BEARS, no less. So my answer was an enthusiastic, YES! I figured I still had a month before the first regular season game, which is when the “treat days” begin – every Thursday during the regular season (not preseason). So, I hit the streets in search of good recipes and then got to work test-baking in the kitchen for the rest of that summer. As I became more internet savvy, I started following lots of baking bloggers and watching video tutorials. I would go to parties and if I tasted something that I thought was exceptional, I would never hesitate to ask for the recipe. Baking for the Bears is always in the back of my mind when eating desserts. I now have an arsenal of treat recipes worthy of offering at a bake shop, if I do say so myself;) . I started getting requests for my pound cake, outside of Baking for the Bears, and my Double Chocolate Chip Sea Salt cookies have been quoted as “The best cookies in the world” by a well-known player, as well as friends, family and neighbors. One of the first things I did was perfect a cookie of my own that comes out pretty consistently crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside. I no longer rely on the old Toll-House recipe. It’s the one thing I never get tired of baking. The guys get them every week. With that said, this season, I plan to blog my recipes each week, and share with you whatever it is I am making for the Bears. I’ll also give you tried & true feedback on what worked, what didn’t, and any fun comments that the players, staff, friends & co-workers might have regarding the treat of the week. My office colleagues love it when football season rolls around, because I typically find new recipes and test-bake on Sundays to bring in on Mondays for critical reviews. From there, I decide if they are Bear-worthy for Thursday Treat Days at Halas Hall. I hope you will check in periodically and enjoy my blog. I’m super excited for the 2018 Bears football season both on the field and in the kitchen! GO BEARS! This is gonna be a good season… I can feel it!

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