Dec 20, 2016

Salted Chocolate Pecan Caramel Bars | #CreativeCookieExchange

These Salted Chocolate Pecan Caramel Bars are incredibly decadent and sophisticated at the same time. 


These salted chocolate caramel bars consist of a delicious deep chocolate shortbread cookie base, topped with a salted chocolate caramel, and then sprinkled with toasted pecans.

These salted chocolate pecan caramel bars consist of a delicious deep chocolate shortbread cookie base, topped with a salted chocolate caramel, and then sprinkled with toasted pecans.

These things are gooey and sticky, and amazing. The chocolate caramel is so freaking delicious! There are actually coffee notes in the flavor of these bars, even though there is no espresso in the recipe. Perhaps it comes from the toasted pecans.

These salted chocolate caramel bars consist of a delicious deep chocolate shortbread cookie base, topped with a salted chocolate caramel, and then sprinkled with toasted pecans.

Sample quotes from my colleagues at work:

"I was going to eat just a bit and save it for later, but I ate it all."

"OMG, these things are amazing!"

"That salted caramel was outrageous."

These salted chocolate caramel bars consist of a delicious deep chocolate shortbread cookie base, topped with a salted chocolate caramel, and then sprinkled with toasted pecans.

These things are killer good, and will make you feel very "chef-y."

I've made caramel before, but not chocolate caramel. This caramel was a revelation. Next time I make these bars, I'm making extra, just to keep as a topping. It's incredible.

This recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook, Dorie's Cookies. It's on a lot of Best Cookbooks for 2016 lists, and I can understand why. I've been a HUGE fan of Dorie Greenspan. In fact, I have five of her cookbooks nestled in a prominent spot on my cookbook shelves.

As Dorie describes this recipe, "This is the kind of cookie that makes you think you should stop everything, throw over your regular life and open a fancy pastry shop just so you can have a legit excuse to bake - and eat - these every day."

Do you like cookies? You need to get this book.

After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the Creative Cookie Exchange bakers' cookies.

Salted Chocolate Caramel Bars

Salted Chocolate Pecan Caramel Bars


Ingredients


For the Shortbread

  • 1 cup (136 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the Caramel

  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 3 pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 ounces (57 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Pecan Topping

  • 1/2 cup ( 60 grams) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch by 8 inch pan generously. I lined mine with foil, which I buttered, to make a sling to lift the bars out of the pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, mix the butter, sugar, and salt for about 2 minutes, until smooth.
  4. All all of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, and mix on low until fully incorporated and the dough comes together. This took a few minutes.
  5. Scrape the bowl with a spatula and quickly squeeze the dough with your hands to bring it together.
  6. Press the dough evenly into the pan. Bake for about 21 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  7. To make the caramel, add the sugar, water, and corn syrup to a 3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook the mixture without stirring until it becomes a light to medium amber color. As you begin to see color developing, swirl the pan a couple of times and watch fairly closely so that it doesn't get overly dark.
  8. Lower the heat. Stand back and add the cream, butter, and salt. Turn off the heat, stir in the chocolate, and pour the mixture over the shortbread in the pan. Sprinkle with the pecans.
  9. Allow the bars to cool at room temperature. Unmold the cookie from the pan and place it on a cutting board. Using a chef's knife, cut the bars into as many pieces as you like. I cut mine into 15 bars. 
  10. The bars can be stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 5 days. Remove from the refrigerator about 10 minutes before serving.
Yield: 15 to 30 bars, depending on how big you make them. 

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34 comments:

  1. These look ridiculously good! My only regret about these bars is that I don't have them already made and waiting in my kitchen. I think these will make an appearance soon.

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  2. These DO look so wonderful. I don't think I will be nice enough to share these.

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    1. I had to take these to work in order to get them out of my house!

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  3. OMG! These look outrageously delicious! And I love the way you describe them, as drop everything & open a pastry shop - priceless! I was going to make millionaire cookies now I just might have to make these instead.

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    1. You just put a giant smile on my face!

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  4. These should be considered controlled substance. Seriously.

    I do have her book, and that made me soooo relieved, because I've been hyperventilating before opening your posts, for reasons that do not need explanation

    ;-)

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    1. Lol! My next recipe is from this book, and dedicated to you and the cheesecake pan my sweet friend.

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  5. I just left Costco and picked up an extra bag of pecans just in case I needed more, or in case I came up with another dessert that called for them! This recipe looks amazing! I'm sure they would be a hit on the Christmas cookie platters I will be making! I'm glad I picked up an extra bag! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks so much! You will be very happy you made these!

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  6. Those look and sound amazing. Thanks so much for stopping by and linking to my First Monday Favorites, at Sid's Sea Palm Cooking.

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  7. Oh my Karen.....you can really get a person's saliva glands going LOL. Excuse me while I get a napkin.

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  8. Well, you had me at salted. But chocolate and caramel have pushed me further into happy delirium

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  9. You so have me at salted AND chocolate. LOL, just read the comment above! But it's so true!

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    1. Thank you! I've never made caramel with chocolate before, but it won't be the last time.

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  10. These must have been a delight in every bite!

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  11. Had to come back once more... not surprised you picked these beauties as your favorite for December....

    indeed, salted and chocolate is a killer combination!

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    1. And chocolate shortbread! I had to get them out of my house and straight to work.

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  12. Oh. my. goodness. I kinda of want to run to the kitchen and make these right now. But it's almost 10pm...

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I love comments and questions and read every one of them.