There’s only one single thought that comes to mind whenever I think of Caramel Logs – Aunt Beryl. She’s been gone for way too long, but has left such a positive mark on the lives of people who’ve had the opportunity to know her. She was one of my favourite Aunts on my dad’s side of the family; a simple woman who never asked for much in life, she was a steady homemaker who raised four children in a small rural town. From what I can remember about being in her home, it was run like a restaurant. She lived to cook and bake; in fact, everyone in town knew of her skills in the kitchen and sought out her services. She would bake bread for women who worked outside the home while she stayed at home and took care of those around her. She would bake literally 1000’s of cookies and squares for weddings with no help from anyone. She poured her heart and soul into her life in her kitchen, and has left her family, friends, and town residents with lasting memories of her kind-hearted nature, her soft spirit, and her love for everything good. She’s so greatly missed.
These Caramel Logs were one such cookie she prepared nearly at least once a week. I would tag along with my parents after Sunday night church service to her house for treat before heading home to bed. In Newfoundland, it’s a very common practice to have an actual sit-down lunch before bedtime. She was known for her Sunday evening cold plates (a Newfoundland platter consisting of chicken, pork, or beef; three varieties of potato salad, a macaroni salad, jello salad, coleslaw, stuffing, bread rolls, rolled sliced ham, lettuce, and tomato) and there was always a cake or pie, Caramel Logs, and another treat or two – usually Mint Squares. To be honest, I couldn’t hardly wait for the church service to end so I could go to her house and eat!
Caramel Logs are chewy, sweet, salty, and crunchy – the perfect treat really. They are rolled rice krispies with melted chocolate, peanuts, and caramel goodness. For the past three months, my mom has been begging me to make these for her, but I had no idea where to start. She assured me that my cousin Loretta would have her mom’s recipe. I reached out to her and as luck would have it, she sent the recipe to my inbox immediately. I made these for mom and sliced them really thick, because that’s how I like them. You can certainly slice them thinner if you prefer. And, even though I followed the recipe exactly, and even though they are quite delicious, I’m sure Aunt Beryl’s would have put these to shame!
- ¾ cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
- 4½ cups Rice Krispies Cereal
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped peanuts
- In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, bring to a boil the corn syrup, vanilla, and sugar.
- In the meantime, melt the chocolate chips and set aside.
- Remove the corn syrup mixture from heat and stir in the peanut butter until melted.
- Add the Rice Krispies Cereal and stir to coat.
- Divide the mixture into two equal portions and roll out onto wax paper into a 4 x 12" rectangular shape.
- Spread half of the melted chocolate down the centre of the rectangular cereal shape. Sprinkle with half of the peanuts.
- Lift the wax paper and roll the cereal into a tight log.
- Repeat with the remaining cereal mixture, melted chocolate, and peanuts so that you have two logs.
- Wrap each log into wax paper and allow to cool for at least two hours.
- DO NOT cool in the freezer - this will dry out the cookie!
- When ready, slice and serve! Enjoy!