A few weeks before my daughter's 13th birthday I asked her what kind of cake she would like to have to celebrate. She answered, "Mom, you know I'm just not that into cake." Insert a teenage twang with a touch of eye rolling and you'll understand exactly what type of reply I received. Cautious of the down hill trap that I've recently discovered when I respond to my daughter with even a touch of sarcasm or negativity in my voice, I sweetly said, "Well, honey, what would you like for dessert on your birthday?" She humored me with three possibilities (none of which were cake) and then a few days before the big day decided on "Can't Leave Alone Bars". Good choice!
The recipe for my daughter's birthday uncake choice was shared with me one summer while my kids and I were at Camp Hebron. Now every time we enjoy a pan of "Can't Leave Alone Bars" it conjures up memories of the incredible adventures we had at Moms and Tots Camp and Family Camp in Halifax, Pennsylvania. In fact my kids actually call this dessert "Camp Leave Alone Bars". I love how good food can transport our minds and stimulate fond memories.
I also love that this recipe for these luscious chocolaty bars starts with a cake mix and only has 6 ingredients. It is perfect to involve the children or whip up the night before a party or bake sale. You can cut these bars into 2 dozen small pieces or 15 larger ones. Either way "Can't Leave Alone Bars" are easy, yummy, and even loved by teenagers who are "just not that into cake".
Can't Leave Alone Bars
also fondly called Camp Leave Alone Bars
1 package (18-1/4 ounce) white cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, cubed
- In a bowl, combine the dry cake mix, eggs, and oil with an electric mixer. With floured hands, press two-thirds of the mixture into a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan to create a crust. Set remaining cake mixture aside
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and butter. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 45 seconds; stir. Microwave 45-60 seconds longer our until chips and butter are melted; stir until smooth. Pour over unbaked crust.
- Drop teaspoonfuls of remaining cake mixture over top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Do not over bake. Cool before cutting.