Monday, May 7, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies Bars

 You know a recipe is good when someone says, "I wish you hadn't cut them so small!" I had a faculty meeting to attend and it was our team's job to provide the snacks. I, of course, chose to make something sweet (always looking for an excuse to bake and try a new recipe!)

Chocolate and caramel. Sweet and salty Yum and yum. Two blissful reunions made in heaven. The original recipe used caramel candies to make the salted caramel sauce. I wanted to try my hand again at making caramel. I really truly believe a person (albeit- chef, doctor, whoever) is as only as good as their tools. In my case- a candy thermometer. I used my candy thermometer, but luckily grabbed the pot off the stove before my precious caramel went from perfect to burnt.  If you have never made caramel- trust me, the perfect to burnt timing happens very, very quickly.  My thermometer, unfortunately did not reach all the way into the caramel. (Seriously, who designed this?!?) After making these bars, I am already on the hunt for a better thermometer.  Any suggestions?

So if making caramel scares you, try using the candies. Either way find a way to make these! And take my co-worker's suggestion..don't cut them so small!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Originally from Two Peas And Their Pod

Note: If making caramel using the candies, substitute the homemade caramel sauce with
10 oz. of caramel candies (unwrap them of course!) with 3 Tbs. of heavy cream. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave caramels on High until caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave.


2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
1/4 to 1/2 cup of salted caramel sauce (I tended to lean towards the more side with this stuff)
Sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel and bars


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking pan (which is an 11 X 7 pan-I used a glass Pyrex dish) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter and sugars together until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Pour hot caramel over the cookie dough. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough over the caramel and spread dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.
6.Bake cookie bars for 30 minutes or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Cool bars on a wire rack to room temperature. Cut bars into squares and serve.

Salted Caramel Sauce:
Originally from Baked bakery, in NYC

* 1 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon fleur de sel (I used the sea salt I had in my cupboard and it seemed to be just fine!)* 1/4 cup sour cream

1. Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, mix together cream and salt. Bring cream to a boil and cook until salt has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Carefully add the hot cream to the caramel; stir to combine. Whisk in sour cream. Cool, and store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

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