June 10, 2012

Pin It Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Taken From Brown Eyed Baker

Week 23
My friend Matt’s birthday was coming up and I wanted to make a special treat in his honor.  He specifically requested that I bring sweets to his chili dinner (I think his exact words were “I DEMAND you bring bad ass cookies; you will not be let in without them”). He couldn’t stop raving about the snickerdoodles at Tom’s birthday (mind you, there weren’t any snickerdoodles at Tom’s birthday, and Matt had actually been obsessing about these since April), so I knew those would fit into his definition of “bad ass cookies.”   I made a batch of the snickerdoodles and used the caramel filled Dove chocolates as the stuffing this time, delicious!

So the snickerdoodles were made but I also wanted to make something else for the group (in case Matt wanted to hoard all the snickerdoodles for himself) so there would be dessert for everyone else.  I love chocolate and I love salted caramel so when I saw this recipe on Brown Eyed Baker, I knew a batch was in my future.

These were amazing! They were gooey and chocolaty and sticky and decadent. The squares I cut were huge and these are super rich, so eating that much may be overkill. However, what ends up happening is that you cut a quarter of it off and eat it, thinking you are being good and that this is an appropriate serving. Then a few minutes later you eat another quarter, and within another 20 minutes the whole square is gone!  It may be more manageable to think you are only eating a piece of it, but in the end you’ve scarfed down the whole thing…which is totally acceptable in my book!

So you start out by making chocolate chip cookie dough.  I just followed the recipe on the Brown Eyed Baker Blog for ease:

2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

After that, I made homemade Salted Caramel Sauce. If you are not into making your own caramel or just don’t have the time, you can also just melt down 10 ounces of caramel candy squares and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream (either in the microwave or in a double boiler).  Since I had some extra time this week I decided to make my own salted caramel sauce. You can check that out here. The caramel sauce recipe made about 1.5 pints (24 oz.) and I used about a pint (16 oz.) for this cookie bar recipe.

Once you’ve made your chocolate chip cookie dough, press half of it into a greased 9 x 9 pan. Then pour your caramel sauce over the cookie dough, attempting to leave an edge around the pan without any caramel sauce.  This was a bit of a challenge for me since caramel sauce is a liquid and really just does what it wants.  If you are really worried about it, you can build up an edge of cookie dough around the perimeter of your pan so the caramel sauce stays contained.  However, if you don’t do this, the “worst” that will happen is some caramel sauce will ooze up to the top while baking (not a bad thing). 
Bottom layer of cookie dough.
Adding on caramel sauce. I ended up just pouring the sauce straight from the mason jar but that picture wasn't as pretty.
Layer of sticky, salty caramel.
After you pour on the caramel sauce, sprinkle with fluer de sel (or other sea salt) and put the other half of the cookie dough on top.  The recipe suggests you crumble the cookie dough on top, then spread it around with a spatula to even it out.  I didn’t do this because I could not see how the caramel would not get all smeared around in the process. Instead, I made flat cookie dough patties and placed them on top of the caramel, attempting to cover as much of the caramel as I could.  There were just a few cracks, so I squishing the cookie dough around a bit until most of the caramel was covered.  Bonnie also had the idea of putting the pan in the fridge for a bit after pouring on the caramel.  That way the caramel would be more solidified when you are trying to manipulate the top layer of cookie dough.  Again the “worst” thing that can happen is you get some caramel leaking through the top. 
After attempting to cover the cracks in the top layer of cookie dough.
Close up of raw cookie, salty, sticky goodness.
sprinkled the top with additional sea salt and baked it for 30 minutes at 325. I let it cool at room temperature for a few hours before cutting (you can also let it cool on the counter then pop it in the fridge to set the caramel).
Baked. You can see the caramel crept up the edges of the pan and caramelized on top.
These were super good! I love gooey cookies so these were pretty much the epitome of dessert awesomeness for me. If you like crispy cookies I wouldn't recommend this recipe.  However, if you like crispy cookies then we don’t understand each other at all and I wish you luck.

1 comment:

  1. I can say that these were some pretty amazing cookie bars! Awesome desserts is one of the perks of being Rebecca's friend and seeing her at lunch every week. And you are so right, I can't understand people who like crispy cookies either.