Can’t Stay Away

This last Christmas Eve, my family in Oregon got together as we always do, but this one was different. There was the usual delicious spread of salads, ham, snacks, desserts and various other side dishes – but this one was different. This one, my grandma brought these bars, which she called “Can’t Leave Alone” Bars, but I knew better – they have some sort of addictive, illegal narcotic in them. They must. Otherwise I wouldn’t have eaten so many that I felt really carsick on the way home. I’ve since started calling them “Gram’s Crack Bars” – which I realize doesn’t sound very flattering, but if you’ve tried these, you’d know what I mean. They taste like raw cookie dough!


I took them to a party about a week ago and once people started tasting them, they were gone within a matter of minutes. I ended up giving the recipe to 3 people. They are so simple, so delicious and, contrary to what my intuition usually tells me about baked goods, they are better once they’ve cooled completely.

“Can’t Leave Alone” Bars / Gram’s Crack Bars IMG_4944

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. oil
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 c. chocolate chips, plus extra to drizzle
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the cake mix with eggs and oil. Press 2/3 of mixture into bottom of greased and floured 13″ x 9″ pan, reserving the rest.
  2. Melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and butter together over medium heat in small saucepan on stove top until smooth. Pour over cake mixture “crust”.
  3. Dot with teaspoons of remaining cake mixture, distributing evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes or until light golden.
  4. Allow to cool completely – melt about 1/2 cup chocolate chips in 10-second increments in microwave and drizzle over cooled bars in pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until chocolate sets.
  5. Cut into squares (mine were about 2 inches), serve, and watch as people try to stay away!




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