Yardboy and Joe, let’s start making do ahead gifts for Christmas.

Here’s one that’s perfect for teachers and other special folks on your list. Make it up to a month ahead!

DULCHE DE LECHE BARS IN A JAR

1 quart jar with lid – wide mouth preferred

Small basket to hold everything

Layer in jar and tamp down as you go:

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour mixed with 1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups quick cooking or old fashioned oats

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

Put in small baggy and try to fit on top in jar or place outside of jar, tied with a ribbon:

1 cup toffee bits

Also put in basket:1 can, 13.4 oz dulce de leche (caramelized condensed milk)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, oats, brown sugar together. Cut in:

2 sticks butter, softened

Mix until mixture is crumbly and press 3/4 of mixture in foil lined and sprayed 9x13 pan.  EVEN EASIER: Use food processor to mix –  don’t soften butter but cut in chunks and pulse to mix.

Bake 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat dulce de leche over heat for several minutes, until slightly softened. Stir frequently.  Spread over partially baked crust. Sprinkle evenly with toffee bits and rest of crumb mixture.   Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t overbake.  Cool 15 minutes.  Run knife around sides of pan to loosen bars.  Cool completely, about 30 minutes.  Cut as desired or into 8 rows by 4 rows.  Makes about 32 bars.