This is a homemade version of a very yummy treat we buy at the beach. It's gooey and easy and soooooo sweet. Enjoy!
2 tsp plus 1/3 C butter, divided
2 packages (11 ½ ounces each) milk chocolate chips, divided
4 T shortening, divided
2 packages (14 ounces each) caramels, unwrapped
¼ C water
3 C chopped pecans (or walnuts, if you prefer)
Line an ungreased 9" square pan with foil, and grease the foil with 2 tsp butter. Set aside.
In a microwave or heavy saucepan, melt one package of chips and 2 T shortening; stir until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the caramels, water and remaining butter. Cook and stir until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts. Pour over chocolate layer. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
In a microwave or heavy saucepan, melt remaining chips and shortening. Spread over caramel layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm. (You may want to take the pan out after about half an hour and score the top into 1" squares, cutting through the chocolate but not really into the caramel, to make it a little easier to cut it up later.)
Using the foil, lift the candy out of the pan. Peel off and discard foil; cut candy into squares. Store in the refrigerator.
Note: The caramel in this candy stays really soft and gooey. If you're not going to keep it refrigerated at all times before serving, you might want to individually wrap the squares so it doesn't all melt into one giant gob of candy as it warms up!!
Yield: 4 pounds
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