I attribute my family being full of good cooks to two things: First, my family is also full of creative individuals. Our collective abilities include painting, spinning, crochet, knitting, quilting, jewelry making, photography, poetry, and on and on. It is kind of ridiculous how talented my family is.
The second and more important trait that resulted in so many good cooks is competitiveness. Not in a bad "in your face, you suck looser" sort of way, but in a "I can't wait for all those bitches to eat my food and realize I am the superior cook" sort of way. Just kidding. Not like that either. It is actually hard to explain, but I will try, just for you.
We love trying new things and are excited to find and create new recipes that no one has ever tried. My family is great about appreciating a new yummy food and oooh-ing and ahhhh-ing over it therefore, everyone wants to make something that is new, exciting, and oooooh ahhhhhh worthy. That is what I mean by competitive.
At the party we had stuffed pepper soup, borscht, white chili, roasted corn chowder, tomato bisque, Chicken gnocchi soup and paninis with fancy cheese (It was a soup theme. Yes we have themes. Don't be jealous.). We also had a REAL lemon pie that my Aunt Anne made from a family recipe that includes directions like "some" "good amount" and "hot oven". It was tart and lemony and fabulous.
I made these bars and they appeared to be a hit, and I have to admit it they were pretty tasty. They are a perfect combination of sweet and salty. They don't require baking, so they would be a great summer dessert. They are simple to make (don't be scared of making the caramel, it is easy) and go together quickly, especially if you have a helper to layer the crackers (perfect job for my 10 year old).
Club crackers (you will use almost the whole box)
1 c. butter (2 sticks, I use unsalted since the crackers are salty)
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. granular sugar
2 c. graham cracker crumbs (I used 1 sleeve's worth because it turns out, that was all I had)
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. butterscotch chips
2/3 c. peanut butter (I used creamy, but crunchy would be good too)
Line a 13"x9" pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray focusing on the sides.
Cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of club crackers.
In a saucepan, melt butter. I browned mine because I love the nuttiness it adds.
Add sugars, graham cracker crumbs and milk to melted butter and heat to a boil, stirring constantly.
Continue to boil 5 minutes. Take off heat and stir in vanilla.
Spread 1/2 caramel (that's what you just made!) over crackers in pan.
Add another layer of crackers followed by the rest of the caramel and then a last layer of crackers.
Heat chips and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth.
Spread over the top cracker layer.
Chill at least and hour before cutting with a sharp knife. I used the little indentations from the crackers on the top as my cutting guide to make even sized bars.