"Paula Deen is not one to practice restraint—especially when it comes to ingredients like cream, cheese, oil and butter."

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[Photograph: Lucy Baker]

My mother once told me to never make any recipe that calls for more than one stick of butter. "It's just unnecessary," she said. And for the most part, I've heeded her advice.

As a loosely held rule, avoiding recipes with more than one-fourth pound of butter has helped keep me trim as a food writer. "Loosely" being the operative word in that sentence. Because every now and then, you come across a recipe so ridiculously indulgent and unabashedly excessive that you simply must prepare it immediately. A perfect example? Paula Deen's homemade Kit Kat bars.

If you've ever watched her show or read one of her cookbooks, than you know Paula Deen is not one to practice restraint—especially when it comes to ingredients like cream, cheese, oil and butter. Just what makes her Kit Kats so over-the-top? How about two sticks of butter, 1 1/3 cups of sugar, and a profusion of graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips. The Kit Kat's signature crunchy layers are replicated with Keebler Club crackers.

20110119-133242-homemade-kit-kats-2.jpgThe recipe is incredibly easy to prepare. In fact, you don't even have to turn on your oven. Basically, you just layer Club crackers and a caramel-like filling in a 9x13-inch baking pan and then top the whole thing with melted peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch chips. Throw the pan in the fridge for a few hours until it firms up, and you're done.

The finished bars have a light, wafery texture just like real Kit Kats, but the flavor is a bit different. That's not a bad thing! Paula Deen's Kit Kats taste predominantly of caramel and peanut butter, and the Club crackers add a nice hint of salt. They are completely delicious, but be forewarned: they are also tooth-achingly rich. While I have no problem polishing off a regular sized Kit Kat bar, a two-inch square of these was more than enough. Think of them as the fun-sized version.

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Homemade Kit Kats would be an ideal bake sale treat or gift for the candy bar lover in your life. They will keep for two weeks stored in an airtight container in your fridge.

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