Nutella lovers will go crazy for these Nutella Caramel Bars! They are gooey, chocolatey, buttery, and delicious!
Lucy has recently started acting like a crazy person when I leave her with a babysitter.
Up until now, she’s always been pretty great about going with people. We have two regular sitters, one who comes to the house every Thursday morning and stays until afternoon so I can sit in my office and work, and one who comes on Tuesday evenings so I can go to Bible study group with my husband. I mean, I’d love to pretend that I’m one of those women who runs everything swimmingly with no help, but that’s just not happening.
Also, sometimes instead of working on Thursday, I go get a manicure and have lunch somewhere and eat with two hands. Then I leave feeling light because I’m free of that embarrassment you feel when you leave a restaurant and there are 48 saltines smashed into the carpet under your table. So, that’s fun.
Since Lucy has always been so great, and I read somewhere that usually attachment issues pop up at around 18 months or under ( she’s almost 2), I figured I was in the clear.
Then about a month or so ago, she started getting pretty upset when I left. I honestly don’t have a ton of experience with this because my son is 10 and you get amnesia after a certain number of years. It’s like you try to remember what you did when your other kid was little and your mind is literally blank. I know he was tiny at one time, but I only believe this because I have photographic evidence. I know that people like to throw the phrase, “Riding a bike” around, but I assure you that raising kids is decidedly NOT like riding a bike. You completely start over — a blank, confused slate every time.
So me, being the blank, confused slate that I am, decided that the best way to handle this situation would be to sneak out quietly so Lucy didn’t get upset. I did read somewhere that experts recommend against this method, but I figured that they haven’t seen my Goose when she gets her feelings hurt, and if they HAD, they’d reverse their opinions. This method worked out for quite some time — me slipping away quietly and Lucy being happy and peaceful with her sitter.
But then a few weeks ago I started noticing that Lucy wouldn’t let me out of her sight. She was flipping out every time I walked into the kitchen or bathroom, insisting on following me and clinging to me like an adorable bow-headed baboon. At first I blamed it on teething, which is what I blame everything on. If she’s acting up at the store and strangers are staring, I just look at them and mouth, “teething” and they say “Ohhhh…” and instead of staring at me in horror and judgement, they give me a look of sympathy and move on. Like I said, I’m practically a parenting genius.
Then one day the UPS guy came, and when he rang the doorbell Lucy screamed bloody murder, ran to me, and flung herself in my arms, wrapping her chubby little legs around my waist and clinging for dear life.
At first I thought maybe she shared my fear of answering the door when a package is delivered (I always stand by the window and wait for him to drive off. Seriously, I am such a creepo). But then I realized that she thought he was a babysitter ringing the bell. THEN I realized that she won’t let me out of her sight because she’s always worried that I’m going to sneak off.
Then I basically wanted to ground myself from being a mom because good grief, what a mess.
So we are currently in the process of trying to undo the epic mess that I’ve made. Every time I head to the restroom I am walking backwards yelling, “SEE ME?? MOMMY HAS TO PEE. MOMMY IS COMING RIIIIIIGHHHT BACK!!!” like a complete weirdo. Then when the sitter comes I peel her out of my arms and hand her over, kissing her tears and telling her goodbye and I love her.
Then I leave and pick up all the zillion broken pieces of my heart and think about going back in the house and rescuing her. Except for by then, she’s stopped crying because apparently, she’s mostly not upset, just an excellent manipulator. Seriously, how is being a mom not a job that you get paid for?
If you’re like me, down in the parenting dumps and eating your feelings to compensate for your failures, you need these Nutella Caramel Bars in your life. Buttery brown sugar oats sandwich a gooey layer of caramel and Nutella. They are total comfort food and completely fabulous!
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups quick cooking oats
- 1½ cups packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 sticks (1½ cups) butter, melted
- 13.4 oz can dulce de leche
- 1 1/2 cups Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread
- Preheat oven to 325?F. Spray a 9×13-inch glass pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add melted butter and stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Press half the mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 17 minutes.
- Remove the pan from oven. Spoon dulce de leche evenly over the top of the hot bars. Let sit for a minute, until caramel begins to soften, then carefully spread to cover the surface. Spoon Nutella evenly over the top of the caramel mixture. Let soften for a minute, then spread that over the surface. Crumble the rest of the oat mixture over the chocolate and caramel and bake for 17 more minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool for several hours before cutting into squares and serving.
An equal amount of caramel ice cream topping can be substituted for the dulce de leche, if desired.
If you love Caramelitas, these are even better! They are the perfect bar for Fall. Enjoy!!