Cookies and Bars · Desserts

Caramel Cookie Bars

Caramel Cookie Bars should be classified as a sin…but a very delicious one! Daughter, Megan, made these to take to friends that recently had a baby and she shared a piece with me. Oh my gosh! They are decadent and perfect for a special occasion.

Caramel Cookie Bars

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips/chopped chocolate use your favorite (I like a combination of milk and semi sweet)
  • 40 Werther’s Soft Caramels (this is 2 small packages)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condesned milk
  • sea salt optional
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Prepare a 9×9 pan by lining it with parchment paper or spraying it with non stick spray.
  3. Measure out the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate into a bowl. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth, light in color and fluffy. This will take a few mintues.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix in the egg add vanilla.
  6. Once completely combined, stop the mixer and add in the flour, baking soda and salt.
  7. Start mixing slowly, once the flour mixture is about half way incorporated into the dough, pour the chocolate chips/ chopped chocolate into the mixer and allow everything to mix together.
  8. Stop the mixer as soon as the flour is completely incorporated. Avoid over mixing. Set the cookie dough aside.
  9. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stir to combine the caramels and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Divide the dough in half and press half into the bottom of your prepared 9×9 pan.
  11. Pour the caramel mixture on top of the cookie dough. Spread until evenly covered.
  12. Take large portions of the remaining cookie dough, flatten them in your hand and then place on top of the caramel.
  13. Bake in your 350° oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is just set.
  14. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.
  15. Let the cookie bars cool COMPLETELY before cutting.
  16. Cut the bars into your desired size and serve.
  17. Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe from CookingwithKarli.com

Family Favorites · New Traditions

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix…mmmm!

Salted Caramel is a taste bud extravaganza!  Combining salted caramel with chocolate has to be a winner.

A few weeks ago I discovered this recipe on Pinterest and, of course, had to try it.  I made a batch to give as gifts but stashed a few servings away for me, too.  It’s delicious.  Add the sea salt to your taste and…BONUS…you have to try it to assure that the combination is absolutely perfect.

A cup of salted caramel hot chocolate mix for a long winter’s night…mmmm!

SALTED CARAMEL HOT CHOCOLATE MIX

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups good quality Dutch cocoa powder
1 to 3 tablespoons good sea salt (I used 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 cup dry milk powder
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
10 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  • Heat the 2 1/2 cups sugar in large, heavy pan, over medium heat.  Stir often.
  • When the sugar begins to melt, continuous stir (or swirl the pan) to melt without burning.  The sugar seems to crystallize but it will melt to a deep amber color after 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the vanilla (it will spatter). Whisk the caramel until smooth again, then immediately pour in the lined baking sheet. Allow it to spread without touching the sides.  Set aside and let the caramel harden, at least 1 hour.

  • When ready to make the mix, use the back of a large spoon to tap the caramel several times into small broken pieces that can fit into the feeding tube of a large food processor.
  • Turn the processor on, and while running, feed the caramel pieces into the tube so the processor pulverizes the caramel into a fine powder.  Continue to add the pieces, a few at a time, until it is completely powder (a cloud of caramel dust will float out of the tube).  Turn the processor off and follow the next steps to complete the mix.

  • Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate, into the food processor with the caramel powder.  Replace the lid and process until smooth.
  • Add the chocolate to the bowl and process again until the mixture is a fine powder.
  • At this point, I made a cup to taste to assure I added enough sea salt. Originally, I started with 1 tablespoon and after tasting, I added another 1/2 tablespoon to the mixture.

Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, for up to one month.  To serve, stir 3 tablespoons mix into 1 cup hot milk.

Adapted from Pennies on a Platter 2007; Adapted from Mom It Forward