Salted Chocolate-Caramel Bars
Once again, I am honored to participate in OXO’s Cookies for Kids’ Cancer campaign. Last year I baked Chocolate Coconut Brownies. This year I am super duper excited to bring you Salted Chocolate-Caramel Bars, a recipe from Dorie Greenspan who is one of the most talented bakers around.
Dorie has a new book coming out in October, Dorie’s Cookies, and you get a sneak peek with her Salted Chocolate-Caramel Bars. I am a lover of everything caramel and the salted chocolate-caramel that goes over the chocolate sable base is out of this world. The toasted pecans on top really balance the bars in both flavor and texture. Trust me, I know this for a fact as I could not stop eating them!
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is an organization that was founded in 2008 by two OXOnians whose son was struggling with pediatric cancer. In 2016, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through product proceeds, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts. This month, OXO will be donating $100 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for each blog post dedicated to this campaign, up to their $100,000 commitment.
I was thrilled to try out OXO’s Glass 2 Qt Baking Dish with Lid, which is equivalent to an 8″ square. Made from BPA-free borosilicate glass, OXO Good Grips Glass Bakeware can withstand extreme temperature changes and the feel is sturdy without being overly heavy to carry. The generous handles and sloshproof lids make moving full dishes easier, and the clean, elegant design means you can take them from the oven directly to the family table.
I love the OXO Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer which includes intuitive digital controls to steadily increase or decrease speed. With my less-than-youthful eyes, the light shining on my batter really helps a lot. The mixer comes with an on-board beater clip while the wrap-and-secure cord, and flat, stable base allow for compact, upright storage. Talk about a winning combination!
You know how it can be challenging to transfer brownies from the pan or lift them from the parchment paper? OXO has got this covered with their terrific Brownie Spatula. Easy to use and comfortable to hold, too.
What are you waiting for? Here’s your opportunity to be one of the first people to bake Dorie’s delish Salted Chocolate-Caramel Bars. Your friends and family will be so very thankful you did.
|Salted Chocolate-Caramel Bars|| |
- Shortbread crust:
- 1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
- 1⁄3 cup (67 grams) sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Caramel topping:
- 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature (or slightly warmed in a microwave)
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce; 28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces and very soft
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fleur de sel or a
good-sizepinch of fine sea salt
- 2 ounces (57 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- About 1⁄2 cup (60 grams) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Generously butter (or spray) an 8-inch square pan.
- To make the shortbread base: Whisk together the flour and cocoa powder.
- Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter,
sugarand salt together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer, add the dry ingredients all at once and beat on low until the dough comes together. This will take a little longer than you might expect, so don’t get discouraged. Give the dough a few last turns with a flexible spatula and scrape it out into the pan. Using your fingertips, pat the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan; press down and make sure to get the dough into the corners.
- Bake the shortbread for 21 to 23 minutes, rotating the pan after 10 minutes, or until it is slightly darker around the edges and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan; it will not feel completely firm if poked gently. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the shortbread to cool completely.
- To make the caramel topping: Put a heatproof bowl close to the stovetop, along with a small bowl of cold water and a pastry brush (preferably silicone).
- Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan or skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow the ingredients to bubble away, brushing down the sides of the pan with cold water if there are spatters and swirling the pan a couple of times once you start seeing some
color,until the caramel turns a paleto medium amber. (Don’t let it get as dark as mahogany.) Lower the heat, stand away from the pan and add the cream, followed by the butter and salt — ingredients that might cause the caramel to roil. Remove the pan from the heat, drop in the chocolate and, using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, stir to blend.
- Pour the hot caramel over the shortbread and sprinkle with the nuts. Allow to set at room temperature.
- When the caramel is firm, run a table knife around the sides of the pan, care- fully unmold the cookie onto a rack and turn it over onto a cutting board. Using a long thin knife, cut 21 bars (cut into 3 strips and then cut each strip into 7 bars). Alternatively, leave the cookie whole and cut individual bars as needed.
- When the caramel is fully set, the cookies (cut or intact) can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Remove them from the refrigerator about 10 minutes before serving.