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For all of June and July, Starbucks became my second home. I was actually at Starbucks so much that I would watch the morning baristas clock out and the afternoon ones clock in. They were very tolerant of me taking up their tables for hours at a time, so I’ve decided that my first recipe back will be my favorite Starbucks dessert. If you go to Starbucks they have these salted caramel squares that are absolutely delicious. On the days I needed to treat myself, this was my go to. However, since this is Starbucks, these aren’t the cheapest two bite treats on the market. So I decided to try to make them myself, and I was successful. Keep reading for the recipe….

Total Time: 65 minutes              Cook Time: 25 minutes

Crust

1/3 cup Brown Sugar

¼ cup Softened Butter

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

¼ teaspoon Salt

¾ cup of All Purpose Flour

Cooking Spray

Caramel

80 pieces of soft Caramel

4 tablespoons of Milk

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

½ cup Chopped Pecans

2/3 cup Crushed Pretzels

Fudge

1 2/3 cup Sugar

2/3 cup Fat-Free Evaporated Milk

2 tablespoons Butter

2 cups Mini Marshmallows

2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

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Crust

(1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.

(2) Beat the brown sugar, butter, vanilla and salt with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level with a knife. Add the flour to the sugar mixture and mix until well-blended.

(3) Firmly press mixture into bottom of the pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes. (Unfortunately, my mom’s oven decides that it likes to cook more on the left side than on the right. If you have the similar problem, then I just rotate the pan halfway through whenever I bake anything here. It comes out ok….so far)

Caramel

Start working on the caramel while the crust is baking.

(4) Combine the milk and caramels in a medium saucepan. Place over low heat and cook until the candies are completely melted, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla and remove from heat. In a separate bowl, mix the pecan and crushed pretzels together.

(5) Remove the crust from the oven. Pour the caramel mixture (but reserve some for the topping) evenly over the hot crust. Sprinkle with the pretzel/pecan mixture. (I mixed it in with the caramel a little and put a little more of a layer over the caramel. The original recipe said 2 cups of pretzels and a 1½ cups of pecans. That is wayyy too much. I have to believe that is a typo). Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Fudge

Start making the fudge ONLY after the crust and caramel have completely cooled.

(6) Combine the sugar, evaporated milk and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir constantly. Let it boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and then stir in the marshmallows and chocolate chips until melted and combined. Add vanilla and stir.

(7) Pour fudge mixture in top of cooled crust mixture. (I didn’t end up using all of the fudge. I felt like it also made too much fudge. I would say I used about ¾ [maybe a little more] of the fudge. It will still make a thick amount of fudge on the square.) Warm the reserved caramel in the microwave. Add a pinch of salt to the caramel and drizzle over the fudge layer. Take a knife and gently run it through the salted caramel to make a marbled like design.

(8) Chill, set and cut into squares.

(9) Enjoy!!

Thank you Starbucks for the past two months, hope to never study in you again!

Recipe adapted from Faithful Provisions

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