Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sea-Salt Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars


I'm not sure what I was thinking when I started this recipe today...other than how much our son liked these bars on one of his home visits. He subsequently asked if I would post it and I added it to the queue.


The recipe is not hard, but for someone who doesn't cook much it may be a little challenging since it has a few intermittent, prep-steps, and requires some degree of focus and multi-tasking.

About half way into making the recipe, I realized he's not gonna have a hand mixer (much less a KitchenAid stand mixer or flour sifter)...all the things I take for granted.

Oh well...the rest of you with mixers might enjoy it nonetheless.
I found this recipe on Pinterest from twopeasandtheirpod blog. Enjoy!


Equipment:

1. 11" x 7" Pyrex dish.
2. KitchenAid Hand or Stand Mixer
3. Borrowed, if necessary.
4. Whisk or sifter.
5. Rubber spatula
6. Preheated oven 325 degrees.

Spray the pyrex dish with PAM 'Original' Non-stick spray and set aside.

                                                                   
Ingredients:
a.  Whisk together and set aside:

2 1/8 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of baking soda














b.  Cream together well:

12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated (regular white) sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract



On low speed, add a. (the dry-ingredients) in steps, slowly to b. (the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla mixture).
Mix well between additions and ensure properly incorporated.
Use spatula to scrap down walls of bowl between additions of dry ingredients.
At this point it will be a dense, thick and heavy dough.


c. Fold into dough with the spatula :

1 3/4 cup mid-size dark chocolate morsels / chocolate chips


At this point, you and your roomates may just decide to enjoy the cookie dough and skip the baking altogether.  I have put some of the dough into a ramekin or cupcake holder by itself--quite tasty.



d. Combine in a microwave proof bowl and melt in microwave.  Stir frequently, about every 20 secs, until it becomes liquid caramel sauce.

14 caramels, UNWRAPPED
2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream



Assembly:

1. Divide the dough (or what's left of it) and press half of it into your prepared pyrex dish.
2. Drizzle a few strands of the caramel sauce over the dough.
3. DO NOT COVER THE ENTIRE SURFACE WITH CARAMEL SAUCE.
4. Sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt.
5. Break up remaining spoonfuls of remaining dough onto the caramel layer.
6. DO NOT WORRY IF SECOND LAYER HAS A FEW SMALL GAPS.
7. Drizzle a tiny amount of caramel over top.
8. Sprinkle flakes of sea salt.


Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes until golden brown and edges begin to pull away.  If you like a more gooey, cookie dough consistency, bake it a little less.