It is hard to believe that the holidays are almost over, and 2013 begins tomorrow. We had a great Christmas with the family and today will be our last day together. I made 8 different types of cookies this year that we enjoyed all through the holiday and we are now down to our last container. The kids in particular really enjoy all the different cookies, and though I always make the same family favorites each year, I also like to add a few new types of cookies into the mix. Salted caramel seems to be everywhere recently, and I thought everyone would love these Chocolate Caramel Bars so I added them to my cookie tray this year. The crust is buttery with a shortbread type of texture, and the chocolate caramel top is creamy and rich. I salted half my bars and left the other plain so everyone could choose, but personally, I liked the addition of a little coarse sea salt on top.
Deborah Mele 2012
- 9 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- Dash of Table Salt
- 2 Cups Chopped Dark Chocolate
- 1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream (Whipping Cream)
- Dash of Salt
- Coarse Sea Salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper strips.
- Lightly grease the parchment with butter.
- Beat the butter and brown sugar until light, then add the flour and salt and stir just until mixed.
- Press the dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan, then bake until lightly browned, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the sugar and water over medium high heat, using a pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pot to prevent the formation of crystals.
- Cook until amber in color, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add the butter, cream and salt.
- Return to the heat, and cook until boiling, stirring continually.
- Pour the caramel over the chocolate and let rest a few minutes.
- Stir well until smooth, then let stand 10 minutes.
- Pour the caramel mixture over the crust, and refrigerate a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.
- Use the parchment to remove from the pan and place on a cutting board.
- Cut into 16 small squares, and sprinkle with sea salt if using.