Monday, December 7, 2015

2 Weeks Before Christmas - Grandma Joan's Gooey Wonders & Holiday Check List

I don't know about you, but it started feeling like two weeks before Christmas for me when I was telling the youth of church yesterday that we had to have a couple things finalized this week so I could finish the Children's Christmas Program bulletin!  It seems just like the other week the kids were getting their parts for the first time and now I have just two weeks to make sure everything falls into place before the big night!  I know we'll be good and the kids have been great at practices, it is just crazy to think that the program is already that close!

Throughout the holiday season I've been sharing a holiday recipe and my weekly holiday check list each Monday.  In honor of my Mom's side of the family's Christmas this weekend (and with the help of my Facebook fans helping me decide), I thought I'd share my Grandma Joan's Gooey Wonders recipe!

Grandma Joan's Gooey Wonders recipe

My Grandma Joan's Gooey Wonders are a staple food group at all of my Mom's family functions, especially at Christmas.  My Grandma Joan brings these each Christmas and has enjoyed passing along the tradition and recipe to her grandchildren.  I love to make a batch of these indulgent little squares of chocolate, gooey caramel and a delicious butter and oatmeal crumble each Christmas to add a little variety to my Christmas Cookie platters.

Grandma Joan's Gooey Wonders

6 Tbsp Milk
43 Caramel (Not 42 or 44, but 43.  I don't know the reason behind 43 but the caramel sauce turns out perfect with each of those 43 caramel squares, so why mess with something that works!)

***Chef's note: Take your time melting the caramels and milk at a medium to medium low heat, constantly stirring.  Once they have creamed together into a smooth caramel sauce, take it off the heat and set aside.  You don't want to overcook your caramel; otherwise the caramel will be hard rather than gooey.

Mix til crumbly:
1 1/3 cup Flour
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 1/3 cup Oatmeal
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Butter, softened

Press 2/3 of the crumb mixture in a greased and floured 9x13 pan.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove from oven.

Sprinkle 1 bag of chocolate chips over the top of the crust.  Then spread the caramel sauce over the chocolate chips.  Lastly, sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture on top of the bars.  Bake an additional 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Now while this may be the hardest part, let the bars cool and then cut into squares.  If you can't resist waiting, the bars will be extremely gooey!

Grandma Joan's Gooey Wonders recipe

And a special note to all of my Iowa readers that receive Iowa Farmer Today in the mail.  Check the paper this week as the kids and I are being featured in a Holiday Sweets Farm Kitchen section, where I share this Gooey Wonders recipe and a few others!

Now that you can add this recipe to your holiday baking for the week, it is time to check out what else you should be doing on my weekly Holiday Check List.

2 Weeks Before Christmas Holiday Check List

Besides continuing to bake a couple Christmas cookies each week, I really need to finish everything that is involved in getting our Christmas letter out for this year.  Also, this week is a great time to plan what you're making for family get-togethers and to start your grocery shopping.  Be sure to see the complete Holiday Check List here.

And, you can get caught up on my previous week's Holiday Check Lists and Holiday Recipes by clicking on the links below:

Horchata Pumpkin Waffles and 1 Week Before Thanksgiving Check List

Pecan Pie and Thanksgiving Week Check List

Peanut Butter Balls and 3 Weeks Before Christmas Check List

What are some of your family's Christmas dinner traditions?  Do you go traditional like My Farmer's extended family complete with a Christmas Duck, or more hands-free and simple like my family with soups and appetizers?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!


  1. Oh my. Maybe you should rename them to gooey wonderfuls. I'll let you know for sure after I make them. YUM.

  2. These sound amazing! I'll have to tuck this recipe away!!

    1. I make them all year long and actually our church's confirmation class last year requested them on a regular basis for an after school treat!

  3. These look so good! Thanks for the recipe and recommendation.

    1. No problem! I hope you enjoy them as much as our family does!

  4. Oooh! They were worth the wait! They look absolutely amazing!

    1. Thanks for sharing at our virtual cookie exchange. Now if only I could take a virtual bite!

  5. These sound amazing! I love that she uses 43 caramels :)

  6. yummy! I invite you to share at my Thursday blog hop. Hugs