Run it off and Caramel Butterball Squares

by Joanne on November 23, 2010

This morning, I ran off my sweet indulgence of yesterday.  4 miles on the treadmill.  A 35 minute chest and shoulder workout.  4.3 miles outside.  It was mild outside this morning, 46 degrees. I ran with just a shirt and light tight.  The rain didn’t hit until later, yay! As for that sweet indulgence, it was the epic failing of will power.  This is my confession….

I ate the last of the Milk Maid Caramels.

milk maid

Thank Goodness! It’s over! Done! No more!  If there are caramels in the house, I can’t leave them alone. My excuse for buying them in the first place was to create a wonderful recipe incorporating the chewy, creamy, ultra sweet little caramel.  But no. They didn’t last long enough to reach recipe potential.  Today, I grabbed the last three and ate all of them right after lunch.  I said to myself “Just eat them all! Get it over with.”  Now I wallow in my sorrow as I crave another caramel.

A Rhode Island Inspired Treat

The butterball cookie. Did you know this is a Rhode Island favorite?  That just might be because a local bakery called Scialo Bakery at 257 Atwell Ave. in Providence makes such mouth watering delights, the Rhodie’s don’t want anything else.  If you’re trying to watch your cookie intake, detour AROUND Scialo’s because you won’t be able to resist temptation. So good!


This recipe is based on a standard butterball recipe but with a little extra twist. A layer of caramel and chocolate top the butterball feather light crumb hidden underneath. 

We aren’t making balls, we’re making squares.


Caramel Butterball Squares


The Butterball base

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract (typically you would use vanilla but like a said, butterballs with a twist)
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Lets make the base first…

Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

In a medium mixing bowl, add all the above ingredients.  Remove your jewelry and wash your hands.  Now, using your hands, mix the butterball dough just until it begins to hold together.

Press the dough into a 9 inch square pan (no need to grease).  Press it flat and NOT up the sides. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, just until it begins to brown. 

Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.  Using about 1/2 TBS or less of butter, coat the sides of the pan. Be careful as it still is going to be warm.  You are coating the sides to stop the caramel from sticking.

The Caramel and Chocolate Topping

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 TBS clover honey
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (1/2 a can) *Use the remaining 1/2 of can for a custard fruit pie! 
  • 2 cups Semi Sweet Chocolate chips

In a medium sized saucepan, add the 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, honey, and milk.  Over gentle medium to low heat, let the mixture begin to boil.  Hold for 5 minutes as it continues to bubble.  Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Now remove from heat, stir it around for a couple of minutes and pour over the butterball crust. Let it cool/set for about 1 hour.

Heat the chocolate chips in the microwave until melted.  Stir every 20 seconds or so since you don’t want to burn the chocolate.  When it is a spreadable texture and the caramel has cooled, spread the chocolate over the caramel and chill until all is set, about 2 hours.


Hmmm…might be a super Christmas cookie!



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  • At 2010.11.23 14:40, nancy jean said:

    YOU’RE ENTITLED to a little self- indulgence now & again … and who could blame you? Wow, those caramel butterball squares look absolutely heavenly!

    Been out of touch for awhile, fighting the flu bug, and had to come visit the Apple Crumbles site. I’ve missed out on a lot! Nona Rosa’s chicken looks delicious, as well as the Cioppino. I believe I’ll add the tuna risotto to Thanksgiving as it’ll be a nice veggie treat for Cassaundra – – THANKS! I think it’s great you, Ted and Teddy could share in the Run for Safety … and GO TED! I look forward to the Wonderland of Lights each year, and the one you sponsor is a favorite of mine.

    Good to hear your hammy is doing fairly well and not holding you back, my friend. Wishing you all a lovely Thanksgiving … Dylan’s first!

    • At 2010.11.23 15:40, Joanne said:

      I know! I was beginning to wonder where you went. Miss you 🙁

      • At 2010.11.23 14:52, Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

        Everyone need a bit indulgence once in a while… and I would love to try our squares! really delicious looking pics, Joanne!

        • At 2010.11.23 15:40, Joanne said:

          You’re right..once in a while is simply ok.

          • At 2010.11.23 15:25, claudia said:

            these are perfect for my cookie tray!

            • At 2010.11.23 15:41, Joanne said:

              My cookie tray won’t fit any more. It’s loaded!

              • At 2010.11.23 16:38, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

                3 caramels? That isn’t so bad LOL! Never feel guilt for eating food. Then it makes it not worth having eaten it.

                Those bars look quite good as well. I do love me some caramel 😀

                • At 2010.11.23 18:50, Joanne said:

                  You’re so right. No guilt.

                  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Applecrumbles, Applecrumbles. Applecrumbles said: New blog post: – Run it off and Caramel Butterball Squares […]

                    • At 2010.11.23 18:43, Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox said:

                      3 whole caramels. Pish Posh. Child’s play. I was thinking 1/2 a bag when I read indulgence. Now those butterball squares, that’s indulgence. Going to have to steal that one.
                      Great job on the workout!

                      • At 2010.11.23 18:51, Joanne said:

                        I could do 1/2 a bag. If I buy them again, depending on the stress level, 1/2 a bag just might be in the works.

                        • At 2010.11.24 07:24, Heather said:

                          Enjoy the indulgence!! You deserve it!
                          I’ve never had a butterball before, but these pictures make me want to change that! 🙂

                          • At 2010.11.24 09:05, Joanne said:

                            It tasted like a shortbread cookie to me.

                            • At 2010.11.24 09:01, claudia lamascolo said:

                              BTW Happy Thanksgiving! I may not be online a few days working through to Saturday retail! ouch! Have a blessed day may you all have a wonderful family Turkey day!!!!

                              • At 2010.11.24 09:06, Joanne said:

                                Oh No! I hope you get to enjoy the holiday at least a little bit? Maybe co-workers will bring in some goodies.

                                • At 2010.11.24 17:34, Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said:

                                  I’ve similar candies here very popular – the dulce de leche ones – excellent even without running before 😉

                                  That squares are a potential guilt for me…but it doesn’t matter – they are gorgeous 🙂

                                  All the best,


                                  • At 2010.11.30 11:01, Dina said:

                                    that is a great idea! love the topping.

                                    • At 2011.08.10 17:35, Troy Knudson said:

                                      I always see those sweets and think “How many calories is that” then I decide if I want to do the equal amount of running or exercise to make up for it. Thank God for exercise so we can enjoy the finer things of sweets!!

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